As most of you know, I am currently finishing up my master’s degree in Holistic Child Development (a weird-but-fitting hybrid of counseling and nonprofit design). My focus is children in poverty, and through the process of writing my thesis, I have learned so much about the realities of poverty and how it affects those experiencing it.
Recently, an essay on poverty has been making its rounds around the internet. It was written by a woman who is actually struggling with poverty, and it’s a real perspective-changer, even if you're already sympathetic towards the cause. I highly recommend checking it out, if you haven't already. It’s not a difficult read, and it is absolutely worth your time.
And for an alternative perspective (also by someone in a similar situation), check out this response.
Poverty is so much more complex than most people are willing to recognize. While it may be true that some people are lazy and legitimately unwilling to put forth an effort, I have found from both extensive research and personal experience that this is usually not the case. I encourage you to take a step back from what you can observe on the surface, and take the time to recognize all of the systems and barriers that make it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to break out of the cycle of poverty. If you need a place to start, check out this article about how poverty affects the brain (if you'd like to read the full study, you can find it here.)
If you're interested in continuing this discussion, I would love to chat! This is an issue that is really close to my heart, and has consumed the past year and a half of my life (yay, grad school). Shoot me an email at brittanystoess (at) gmail (dot) com!