Sunday, October 27, 2013

Never going to get used to facing poverty

No matter what I will never know what it is like to stare poverty in the face.  I will never know what it is like to not have enough money to buy food for my family, to not live comfortably in a bed within a house with windows and doors.  To be afraid that my child will get deathly sick, and I won't have the means to take care of him/her.  I will never know what this is like.  

I was born the midst of a culture that understands fairness.  In a culture that has pretty much every advantage there is in the world.  I can visit any country that I want to without wondering if I will be able to get in, or if I will have to flee once again.  I can buy anything at the store, or go out to eat when I don't feel like cooking.  I was born knowing as a woman that I have a voice.  I do not have to conform to men and I can stand up for my rights.  Rights that I have always had, I have never had to defend them.  Even when I am visiting places where women don't have those rights, I still do.  I am still able to live my life with a voice.  My voice has never been taken from me.  My voice has never had to be disguised.  I have always been able to say exactly what I feel with little or no consequences.  

How often do I take for granted the fact that I have been born privileged?  How often do I take for granted that I will always have a place to live, and food on the table.  Even if I am in a job change, there are people that will always be able to provide for me, because they were also born privileged.  Yes, we have worked for what we have, yes I have gotten into hundreds of dollars of debt, just to be where I am at.   Never really earning enough to pay off loans that keep creeping up on me.  But, if I am really honest, this is the least of my worries.  

I am able to live comfortably.  I still buy starbucks at least once a week, if not more often.  I eat meat, and fresh vegetables almost every single day.  I have a Kindle, Ipad and laptop.  I live with running water and electricity.  I ride on a bus to and from the mall, where I buy my groceries.  There is nothing in this scenario that says I am suffering, yet I always want more.  

I always want to have the best clothes....and things that will make my life more comfortable.  Why is this?  When did I learn to want more.  When did I learn to never be content with what I have.  To always look for more?  

How do I step back and see just how privileged I am?  

I spent two years in the states.  Two years being somewhat unhappy with my state of life, because life was very convenient.  I was surrounded by family and friends, yet I found just about every reason to complain.  I was able to choose from about 20 different churches, yet I couldn't seem to find a place to "fit in."  

Here I am stuck out in the middle of nowhere and I find myself more grateful than ever before.  The fact that I have internet, running water, and air con.  I am so thankful that I spent the evening just hanging out and talking with a friend.  

Why can't I see poverty when it is staring me straight in the face, everyday.  Why can't I step outside of myself, and see just how lucky I am to have the bare necessities....but really so much more.  

I hate debt, and money....but at least I had the privilege to get an education, and the means to pay it off eventually.  

When I step outside the gate, and look around I see poverty.  I see people working their butts off just to make a dollar, and I think...I will never be able to understand.  I will never see clearly what it means to live their walk in their shoes, and to live in poverty.  

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