“Pay check Friday, gone by Saturday, back broke by Monday.”
For me growing up in a household with a working poor mother, it was tough watching her struggle. One sick day, one missed pay period, and we could have been one of those families in a homeless shelter. What do you do when you’re living a life that feels like all hope is gone? When you look forward to the end of the day before the beginning even starts. That is the feeling of so many people in America. But living paycheck to paycheck is more than just a financial strain. It’s an emotional strain that causes more issues than not having money. People who are living poor generally have lower self-esteem, lower confidence, poor health, and their mental instability is typically higher. So what happens that places a person in these types of conditions?
Well, for me, I have a mother and father that both grew up poor and both their parents grew up poor. And that’s when you realize that poverty in America is more than just not having a job and not being able to get a job. It’s not the idea that people are lazy or don’t care about their futures. Poverty in America is generational; with every passing generation, you notice times get rougher and rougher. At least when my mother and father were young, there was a sense of community. In today’s society there is no community in the poor communities. You don’t even have the support of your family in life. So you almost have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. And if you fall, it’s not too hard of a fall that you can’t recover.
Another reason people live in poverty in America, is that there are so many people not in the know. And the know, is all the pieces coming together with all your knowledge to make your life make sense. And if you are not skilled enough to make your life make sense, then you cannot rise above where you are in life. Even with a good education, which helps, you still have to be able to put yourself in the know. Because a college degree is the icing on a cake, not any of the ingredients to make that cake. The ingredients come from you, and most people don’t know how to bake their success cake. They look at success like a fast food restaurant, “Just show me how to work the fries, and then I’m off to the races making big bucks.” It’s not that easy; it takes the elements that are skills, smarts, hard work, and some luck.
And in the end, when observing some of the prior elements of success, so many just don’t have in them. And if they do have these elements, they are totally unaware as to how to get the elements working for themselves. So they will live their entire lives not achieving anything remotely close to even an idea of success.
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