I often tell people, there’s nothing wrong with poverty or being poor. That’s because poverty can be caused by so many things – a business failure, the sudden loss of a family’s breadwinner, divorce, theft, even just plain old back luck.
As for many people in life who can testify, bad fortune can swoop in, and, in the blink of an eye, undo years of hard work and careful planning.
But as you’ll hear from some populist demagogues, ’there is something special or even holy about poverty. While it isn’t necessarily someone’s fault, they are poor, and so they shouldn’t be judged for it’.
What we should remember, there is a real shame… in not taking steps to escape it.
Just remember, stuff is going to happen. We are going to experience setbacks. Some of us are going to experience significant setbacks – in terms of where we are born, what our parents were like, how other people see members of our race or gender – and none of that is fair or says anything about who we are as people.
How could it? We didn’t have anything to do with it happening.
But how we respond to those situations – be it poverty or disability or a lousy upbringing – how we respond, says everything about who we are.
Are there big systemic problems too? That will require coordination, community support, political intervention, and decisive action? Absolutely. But in the meantime, we can start taking our individual steps right now, right this morning, big or small.
Some members of my family love to say, “All Brian cares about is money.” Well, family, my response is simple, “You’re right! Because eating three meals a day without government, support is uplifting!”
So to those who live off the system in the woods, waiting for your next cheque, remember – ”Nothing revolves around money and money has no connection to poverty. Poverty is a sickness which deserves your attention to cure.”
Be a part of the cure, break the cycle, and live your life free, the way it is meant to live. And when you see someone homeless, smile, hug them, and let them know you believe in them. Because even if they are sick, broke, broken, miserable, or weak, at least they’re not faking it!
And on a side note, I respect the homeless more than my own family. Because they’re real.
By Brian Nadon