The Cost of Having Not

I just don’t understand this culture that encourages so many people to live in poverty. Even the  people with “good money” live foolishly and end up poor. Meanwhile, the genuinely poor are looked down on rather than assisted or even emotionally cared for. There is no compassion. This wide-spread practice in turn makes people with money so desperate to spend to show their status to avoid the stigma of “being poor”.

I don’t understand why its instinctive to live in such a way that you become a prisoner to your own choices. We create the chains ourselves. So why is it so hard to just say NO and simply STOP living that way? Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy just to impress their Twitter followers.

Personally, I’ve been trying so hard to make the money stretch.  I’ve stopped spending on needless things,  but there simply is not enough to go around.   I use a pre-paid “burner” phone. I wear clothes from the thrift store. I buy store-band groceries. These small sacrifices do not bother me. What bothers me is that, despite the corners I cut in our spending, there simply is not enough left to pay the bills. Life should not be this way.

I’m married. We have children to raise. I did a year of college, and maintained a 4.0 GPA.  Medical reasons forced me to take a break in school, and then life forced that break to go on too long. Now, it’s not possible for me to return to school. My family needs me to work full time. If I were to return to school, I’d sacrifice the little time I have to see my kids. I’d love to go back to school, but that is not a price I’m willing to pay.

So, for all intents and purposes, I am a slave to my choice to have kids before finishing my degree. The result: I am officially uneducated and worth too-few- dollars to an employer, despite my experience.

The stigma of poor equaling “less than” at the human level triggers a fear response that causes  us to live beyond our means simply to save face.

We must let go of the thinking that  wealth signifies significance.

America was built on the backs of the poor. The laborers. The ones in the trenches. The mothers and fathers and the children they worked hard to raise.

So I keep going. I keep working for less than I’m worth because my family needs my pride to stay in check. My family needs that steady income. All the while I feel powerless; because despite the hours and effort, it’s simply not enough.

My choices have become, 1) Be actively involved in raising my children or 2) Have an education and career that will  allow me to provide them with IPhones and Jordans.

This society teaches our children that the latest tech and fashions equal importance and signify love. How could I sleep at night if I did not do everything in my power to teach them this is not true?




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