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Poverty-We can all do something to end it

The many reasons poverty continues and how we can end it. A real life view of why poverty exists.

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-the-most-depressing-version-of-google-maps-i-ve-ever-seen?c=upw1

I started with this link because it's important.  You'll see it a number of times throughout this post.

The title talks about poverty...so that immediately makes people not read this post.  So for all the people who need to read this and didn't, report in another title or send it to them.

Let's start simple with a story: I'm 5 and my 4 parents (mom and her new boyfriend, dad and his new girlfriend) are my examples of life. When they get mad they are violent. When they are happy they use substances such as alcohol, drugs, etc. The rich people in my neighborhood are the ones that deal drugs, con people out of money, sell their stuff, or have their tax return.  Violence and drugs are a normal sight for me to see. All of my parents either barely graduated hs or got a GED later on. My dad and "step dad" are always looking for jobs. My mom and step mom work at call centers or grocery stores.  I constantly heat how unfair it is for people like "us", and if we had money like the other people, our life would be better. My skin color comes up a lot is conversation and is an explanation for why we live like this, or why we don't. Everyone is on government help.

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-the-most-depressing-version-of-google-maps-i-ve-ever-seen?c=upw1

The way I've learned to speak to others is in a harsh matter-of-fact way. If I have a conflict, the louder or more violent a person acts - wins the dispute. If we have a conversation, it's loud and somebody often just walks away from you. As a 5 year old, I'm told not to hang out with adults...I have to "go play". At school, people tease me because I don't have the right stuff, phone, clothes, or know about the cool things. I've never been in after school care or learned a lot of the games and songs, but when I was in after school care I got kicked out because I didn't act right...but I acted like everyone around me. Very Confusing.

Will this 5 year old have the drive for education?  Probably not.

With this 5 year old have the skills necessary for him to ask for what he wants?  Probably not.

Will this 5 year old see money as the way to happiness?  Probably.

Will this 5 year old see authority figures as people to respect and uphold?  Probably not.

Will this 5 year old know how to negotiate a conversation or a job interview?  Probably not?

Will this 5 year old learn how to create a business other than an illegal business?  Probably not.

This is the main problem of poverty. The youth being born into this world are not prepared, helped, or groomed to be anything but the people they see around them all the time.  They are being groomed to live in poverty. Even if they want to get out, and earnestly try...they don't have the skills to do it. Also, the ways most of these kids learn the skills they need to live in a non-poverty world is by trial and error. The rags to riches stories we hear about people pulling themselves out of poverty is because there was someone, some program, or some talent that was helped, fostered, and groomed at some point in their life.

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-the-most-depressing-version-of-google-maps-i-ve-ever-seen?c=upw1

This is the reason after school programs, rec center programs, and programs that go into these neighborhoods and expose these children to something different is so important! However, these are also the first programs to be CUT. CHOPPED, LIQUIDATED, DEFUNDED, UNFUNDED, AND ELIMINATED.

How can I speak about this?  This is where I grew up. I went through the trial and errors...learning that this behavior was wrong, this behavior was acceptable, and this one was not. I wasn't deterred by people making fun of my jeans with patches on the knees, the lack of a game system at 5, 10, 16. lack of a car, lack of school supplies unless they were donated, give away clothes as my normal wardrobe, and the general belief that this was the only life available to me.

So now back to the link I've been posting on here again and again. It's maps...maps of the LARGE amount of poor and poverty that exists in our nation. Sadly, the gap between the haves and the have nots is becoming very very wide...not because it's the "man" trying to "keep people down", nor is it because "people just want to live off the government"...it's because we are being taught that this is the only life they see that is available to them.  

We need to do something! We need to start helping people front porch style. We need to reinvent the old "grandma" or "autie" person that taught us about what we could do and what we could become. We need to reinvent the rec center...not as a place to jump the fence and play basketball or handball or soccer, but really make it part of the community. Get people to come in there for free and speak about what the people can do, can be, and can become. 

You are those people. You are the people who can create this change. You are the people who can go into these neighborhoods and say...let's do more. It happens and it has happened in many many neighborhoods and communities.

There was a man who decided that Harlem was better than it is portrayed. He reinvented the rec centers, then the streets, then the schools, then the parents, then the kids, and now...the Harlem project is a brand new way of thinking about kids, poverty, and people. 

We need to stop seeing poverty as a problem for the people in poverty...and start seeing it as a world wide problem.

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-the-most-depressing-version-of-google-maps-i-ve-ever-seen?c=upw1

Look at this link...look at your own city...it's more of a problem than anyone wants to realize!!!

Chad Herman - Motivational Speaker

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Conkle February 22, 2013 at 10:56 PM
The google map link was depressing for sure, however, it was also very revealing. If we can identify the areas where poverty is most prevelent, why can't we as a wealthy nation do better to address this ongoing cycle? Why does the traditional paradigm of poverty in these areas continue year after devastating year? Why is poverty stigmatized and the poor denigrated and sterotyped by so many in our society? Surely, as a nation we are better than this current status quo. "A society is to be judged by how well that society treats the least of it's citizens." That more isn't being done by our elected representatives and ordinary citizens is a matter of national humiliation and shame. Higher educational opportunity needs to become a right in our country and all should have the ability to attend the finest academic institutions and leave with marketable job skills. We also need to find a way to stop putting so many of our young poor black men in penal institutions and more of these young men in our institutions of higher learning. Educational opportunity is truly key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Young children are born into poverty, they had no choice, we need to offer these children a way out of poverty, help create dreams of a better future and free them to live their lives to their fullest potentials. To do otherwise, leaves too many of our citizens caught in a trap of abject poverty living lives with unfullfilled dreams and lost potentials. We're better than this, arn't we?
Gary Moos February 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM
While what you say is true, it I'd only half the story. There was a time when a hard worker even with little education could make a living wage. Those jobs are slipping away and the bottom of the middle class is slipping into poverty. Poverty is eating its way up the food chain and the closer it gets to the top, the more the rich protect themselves at everyone else's expense.
David Conkle February 23, 2013 at 10:43 PM
True that, Gary. We used to have good trade schools and apprenticeship programs too. Now a lot of the trades like plumbing, electricians etc. are having a hard time filling positions. There's no easy answers to the question of how we cure poverty in our country, however, the question just seems to be asked less frequently if at all now. We need to all try harder to help those less fortunate then us, for this is the basis of Christian giving and charity. As a nation that professes to be a christian one, we are failing to put enough action into our faith as evidenced by the increasing number of hungry and working poor in our country. We can do better, surely! Can't we?
Dona Lee February 24, 2013 at 01:18 AM
The problem is also the wages paid to electricians, plumbers, a/c techs, and more of the trades have gone lower and lower. Master electricians in Florida are taking journeymen positions just to work and accepting under $15.00 an hour. Journeymen are luckey to make $12.00. This is across the trades. WHY? Well the companies still in business are struggling to survive as the construction trade was decimated when new home construction almost stopped in its tracks. On top of that, they found they could hire (undocumented) subcontractors for less than minimum wage and not pay any benefits, so in order to increase their profit, they assign jobs to subs. In order to compete, companies that are still paying employees, have to cut their bid amounts, meaning they have to lower wages in order to make any profit and keep the company running. We are stuck in a downward spiral and we need to take a few steps to slow the descent and hopefully turn things around. I had to shut my company down as I could not even come close to competing with the unethical companies currently doing business here in Florida.
Julia Steele February 26, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I couldn't agree more Chad. And I will add a comment. Will this 5 year old break the cycle of poverty and rise up to become a caring, responsible, productive citizen with the guidance from caring, nurturing adults? Yes! It's what we do each and every day at Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, where every child is given hope and opportunity, especially those who need it most. Academic success, character and leadership, healthy living...these are our "areas of impact". Thanks for your article. It was spot on. We all don't have the same starting line in the race we call life. Julia Steele, Executive Director, Foundation for Boys & GIrls Clubs of Manatee County.
Chad R. Herman February 26, 2013 at 05:47 PM
To Julia - Thank You! Thank You! Thank You for doing what you are doing. We all need to take ownership of these problems, and do something about it, Julia, that is exactly what you are doing. I applaud you. Not only for the work you do, but the fact that you have put it here for all to realize the need for the Boys and Girls club and all the other organizations that are standing up and leveling the "starting line". Chad Herman - motivational speaker.
Chad R. Herman February 26, 2013 at 05:50 PM
I am so glad that we can all see that there is a problme in our society, and that WE MUST do something to end it. We must do something to solve the problem. This isn't a problem that affects someone else, or is in a different country. The link in the blog shows us that every city in the country is affected by a poverty that slinks its way thorugh our lives and our society. So I add a question to this stream: What are you going to do to help solve the problem....not solve it, help solve it. OR What can "WE" do to help solve this problem?
Jacque Mioff February 26, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Chad - in all seriousness....GREAT post, I'll be sharing it! On a lighter note, whatever do we do with the proliferation of more "People Of WalMart" types?
David Conkle February 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Part of the problem of curing poverty is that our political leaders don't have the political will to make ameliorative changes. When one of the parties denegrates the poor and protects the rich at the expense of the middleclass, which has been experiencing stagnate wages for far too long, then more and more of our citizens we be falling below the poverty line. Without a strong and growing middle class the ranks of the poor will continue to grow and poverty will become more of a problem. Without a strong middle class to help those who are poor have much less upward mobility. Unfortunately, our politicians seem more concerned with gaining power and being reelected then solving the very real problems we face as a nation.
Timothy Keffalas February 27, 2013 at 02:50 PM
I suggest you read an on line report entitled "The Economic Impact of Poverty" May 2012 by Pinellas County. A part of Tarpon Springs has been placed on a list of one of the five most impoverished areas in Pinellas County. I believe this is the number one problem facing Tarpon Springs. We need to do more to improve the lives of all Tarpon Springs residents. Timothy Keffalas Candidate for Tarpon Springs City Commissioner, Seat 4.

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