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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Poverty Sucks

Recently, I have been watching a lot of documentaries on the poverty and the poor people of the world. I wanted to gain a better understanding of the world and how we all live on this planet and how many of us are suffering from life's basic needs. Not having to confront this daily, it is too easy for me to just ignore the problems that are plaguing the rest of the world and take shelter in a wealthy enclave. 

I moved to very wealthy area of SF, and as such, I am living comfortably and relatively removed from having to fight for my basic needs. My life is nothing less than royalty comparatively, with basic needs met I usually have abundant time to focus on other things that further my creative and intellectual pursuits. One of those pursuits is to study who we are as humanity, mainly why are there so many unfortunate people in the world and how can others help them.

So watching these documentaries is incredibility sad and heartbreaking. These people who were born disadvantaged usually stay disadvantaged for the rest of their lives. If you were born into a life of an African farmer, chances are high that you would likely stay there and not have the ability to get a good education and gain upward social mobility. One example is of a rural chinese family, whom barely has enough to survive on and was struggling to get their daughter to a private university. Tuition cost easily ran several multiples of the family's income, but they did it anyways to ensure that their child had a proper education. What the family didn't know was that the university was a scam, made to get the parents to open up their wallets and send their child to get a useless degree from uncertified school. I can't say that I am surprised to see that people taking advantage of others to try to get themselves out of poverty, but is this the only way?

If I was born in another country or my parents had stayed in China, what would I be doing now? I am so grateful that I was born a US citizen and that I never had to suffer through the worst kind of poverty. I was privileged that I had the ability to make something of myself and not have to worry about starving and find a place to sleep. I am thankful for the ability to focus on studying and being able to work at a job with great benefits. My parents never had that and they always hope that my life was better than theirs, it was their sacrifices and hard work that has taught me grit and persistence so that I would never be poor.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows the true horrors of poverty and its consequences. There are those whom have never seen how bad it can really get, they never understand the fear of having nothing. We cling to our 1st world problems and wear it with a badge of honor, never knowing there are those in the world that both envy and despise what we have. I see too much selfishness and ignorance in the world around me.

I know how hard it is to raise oneself up from the ground. I see the struggles that my parents have to go through everyday and I vow to do better. I will work as hard as can to ensure that I am as far away from poverty as I can, because poverty sucks.

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