Friday, December 2, 2011

Being Poor Isn't Always Visible

Have you ever been so broke that you couldn't pay for propane to heat the hot water or to use your stove? Have you ever been so out of cash that you had to live on kerosene being placed into your oil tank by the five gallon tanks you use for gas in your car or lawn mower? Have you ever lived on macaroni and cheese or worse yet Ramon noodles?

I have.

But no one knew.

I think the only person who has known the exact depths of my struggles I have faced since I first became a mother in 2002 is my father but beside him it's really only me, because I don't share this information with others. When I am facing a financial hurdle in my own life I rarely blog about it, talk about it or spread the news. Why? Because it's far too personal and opens a door for pity.

I wouldn't ever wish pity upon me, because I don't even have any idea how to feel pity for myself or others. It's not that I am not compassionate, I am an extremely compassionate person, it's that I truly believe with a change in attitude directed such as the "I CAN DO THIS" attitude really helps make a change more so than dwelling in self pity or feeling pity towards another person.

With being poor, it's not always visible and one can be poor one month and then bounce right back on track the next month while others may stay poor for an extremely long period of time. When a person is out of luck financially they don't need your pity, they don't need handouts because if they went from being completely self sufficient to needing help - handouts can usually make them feel worse.

What a person needs who is hard on their luck is some human compassion, prayers if that be your way of helping and some positive thinking. Maybe you know someone who has a business or a skill and they are having financial issues, one way to help this person would be to spread the word about their skill and help them gain clients to increase their income.

There are ways to help those down on their financial luck without giving handouts or feeling pity. Let's try to help another person this year, let's not pity them, let's not make them feel any worse, let's work together as a community to help lift them up beyond this temporary state of financial hadrship!