“P” is for “Poverty”

The following is a post that I wrote back in March 2014 but decided not to post it until now.  My reasons for writing but withholding publication were, as they often are, numerous, but one of the biggest ones was the issue of privacy.  It is often, but not always, easier to talk publicly about something not connected to you on a personal level than to discuss that which hits close to home.  It is even harder to be specific, to cite your own personal experiences, especially if the topic at hand is a negative one.  Yet poverty is part of daily life in the United States.  It affects all kinds of people and occurs in people’s lives at different times and for different reasons.  Poverty is both a system and a way of life.  It is the result of social behavior, legislative behavior, economic decisions such as hiring and firing decisions and wages, government policies and legislation, and cultural ideas about what poverty “is,” who is “poor,” and whether or not poverty is a “good” or “bad” thing.  What follows is my own reflection on contemporary presentations and depictions of poverty within various media and the contrast with the poverty I know the most, that of my own mother.


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