The true nature of human beings, Especially if you suddenly become poor when you weren’t previously, the way others treat you will be eye opening, both in a general sense, and individually. You will see a side of people that is kept hidden from most, and you will learn who your friends are.
Ever heard of someone being homeless? Not due to mental illness or addiction, because that oftentimes requires professional help, but because of lack of money. Perhaps they have no family left, but do you ever wonder, where are their friends? Well they’re wondering that too.
You will discover that there is very little actual help for the truly poor, although there is plenty on paper. Poverty is a vicious cycle. If one thing goes wrong, as its most likely to do in the face of poverty, it causes a domino effect. What happens to your job when your car breaks down and you’ve no money to fix it? What happens to your health under extreme stress, and lack of nutritional food due to lack of money for all but noodles?
When you apply for assistance, say with rent, or electricity… you must get there, but that’s not always easy when you have no vehicle, no money, even for a bus (assuming you live where there is public transportation) or are too ill or disabled to walk that far. You’ll find rides from “friends” cannot always be counted on, if ever. If you do have a job, you’ll have to take the time off to go in person to try and get help. Many times in vain. Those places generally keep regular business hours. You’ll also find that you will not get help if you don’t have an eviction, or equally serious notice. You won’t get help if you have no income. (Lest you be in the same situation next month) That is if funds aren’t depleted, which they often are.
You will learn that most people believe, regardless of how you came to it, that your situation is your fault. All types of people live in poverty. Life changes such as unemployment, illness or family separation can happen to us all. Shifts in the cost of living, especially higher prices in essentials such as food and fuel, also affect most people. So poverty isn’t something that happens to others. It’s something that can happen to almost anyone.
But certain groups of people face a much higher risk of living in poverty than others.
· Families with children are more likely to be poor than people without children. This makes sense: costs go up with the birth of a child at the same time as family income goes down with parents cutting back on work or paying for childcare.
· People with a disability.
· Disability is strongly connected to poverty.
· Parents with disabilities often face multiple barriers to work; children with disabilities place additional demands on the family.
· Certain ethnic minorities.
· As with people with disabilities, discrimination in the workplace clearly plays a role in depressing incomes.
· Work-less families or households.
· Households where only one adult works are at a much higher risk of poverty than average.
· When benefits are set at too low a level they fail to act as a safety net for these families.
· Poverty is general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. It is a multifaceted concept, which includes social, economic, and political elements. Poverty seems to be chronic or temporary, and most of the time it is closely related to inequality.
· As a dynamic concept, poverty is changing and adapting according to consumption patterns, social dynamics and technological change. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the deprivation of basic human needs, which commonly include food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter and health care.
· Relative poverty is defined contextually as economic inequality in the location or society in which people live.
Take from this — is — Poverty can teach you many things in life:
Originally published at medium.com