Poverty is horrible.
I remember it well… Government cheese, food stamps, coming home as a kid to a house without electricity and running water.
It wasn’t because my folks weren’t working hard. It’s just that what they were doing wasn’t working.
Working hard and poverty aren’t mutually exclusive. Actually, it is fairly common.
You can bust your butt and still qualify for food stamps.
Poverty is a leading indicator and common denominator in almost every tragic malady that hinders the human race.
Poverty is horrible. You know it and people living in poverty certainly know it.
People need help to make it until they figure out how to get out of poverty, but they have to really want to get out.
Fish vs. Fishing
They say if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he’ll eat a lifetime…
Folks need fish to eat today, but they need fishing rods, bait and fishing lessons for tomorrow too.
That’s the great thing about capitalism… as long as there are people who want to eat, there will be folks selling fish.
As long as there are people buying fish, somebody will be hiring fishermen. You can use their rods until you can buy your own.
No sense getting mad at the guy giving you a chance to fish. Yes, he’s making money…. and (sometimes) much more than you, but you wouldn’t dream of working for a broke man, would you?
Find The Flow of Money
Find the flow of money and interject yourself into the middle of it. If the fish you’re catching are too small to feed your family, fight your way into a bigger river… go deeper… get smarter
Education is almost always the answer. Not general education, but specific education that solves problems.
People will always pay to make their problems go away. You can find problem-solving, poverty-busting, specific education for free at the library.
There’s millions of dollars at the smallest public library just waiting for somebody to come master the information.
People stand in line all night for a new iPhone, but not at the library. Nobody shows up early for school anymore.
Fight Your Way Out
I’ve met too many people who have fought their way out… including my own family. Education was the key.
In America, you can still get out. There’s more opportunity here than anywhere else on the planet.
I met an immigrant from Vietnam two summers ago in Norman, OK who came over on a crowded boat. He worked 3 jobs bussing tables and studied by the light of the back alley street light on his breaks.
He’s now a Ph.D engineer living in a big home complaining about how easy his kids have it in life. He learned to fish.
That doesn’t mean everybody will get out of poverty… not everybody wants out… the politicians certainly don’t want to let you out.
Maybe that’s a poor reflection on society, but the burden doesn’t rest on society… that’s just an excuse.
There’s Always Poor People
Jesus said, “the poor will be with you always.”
The better question might be, why would you want to live in poverty when you don’t have to?
If you choose to live there, that’s one thing. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re sacrificing for the greater good… like Mother Teresa.
Unfortunately, poverty doesn’t make you Godly. If that were true, the golden streets of heaven wouldn’t be protected by pearly gates.
Neither do riches make you Holy. That’s a lie. Both riches and poverty have made their fair share of devils.
There’s nothing virtuous in poverty of itself. The virtue is in fighting against it, swinging hard, running to win.
Rage Against The Darkness of Poverty
If you see someone raging against the darkness of poverty, lend them a hand. They need the help… they deserve the help.
Loan them your fishing poles.