As a young child, I used to visit an Aunt living in an area termed as ‘low-class’. The first time I went there, I went with my parents. I wanted to see the environment, so I begged my dad to allow me to stay for a few days. Initially, my aunt objected. She said that her neighborhood was not safe for me, but my mom’s words resounds in my ear till today. She said “Let her stay. She needs to see that the world is more than candy bars and chocolates.” My dad nodded in agreement. They were indeed right because a few days after, I understood what they meant. The experience then, and later in life, made me realize what it’s like to be poor. The underprivileged are so many in our communities. They don’t know how to go after the kind of life they desire. There are several reasons why you should help the poor and here are two of them:
- The Poor Wants to Be Helped: This may sound a little vague but wait till you finish reading this. A poor person wakes up every day, and the first thought they have is “today will be better than the day yesterday.” They have these beliefs because they are certain that someday, help will come their way. They are hopeful, so they keep trying to make ends meet. You, having more opportunities than them, should be of assistance in helping them live the better life they are craving.
- Reduces Crime Rate: Helping the poor reduces the crime rate in our society. Poverty can push an individual to do that thing that they had always condemned. When there is no food to eat, a person can be forced to steal. There have been cases of unorganized robbery attacks here in the United States. The perpetrators are often caught with weapons that they have no idea how to use. When asked, they often say “we needed to get enough money to eat.”
In case you have never had that kind of experience that I was opportune to have as a child, you may be unsure of who the poor in our society are. Let us talk about that below.
Who Are the Poor in the Society?
Ever wondered who the poor in your community are? They may just be your next door neighbors. Poverty has various dimensions. The homeless are not the only poor people around. A person may look well groomed on the outside, but according to the societal ranking, he is poor. Here are some categories of poor people:
- Those Who Cannot Feed Themselves: For some families, the income they receive is below what can give them access to decent living in the community. They live on what they can afford and not what they wish. There are even some day cannot afford to eat. Those days, they survive on water or beg for help.
- Those Who Cannot Afford Accommodation: A basic need in our society is shelter. By shelter, I don’t mean those that sleep under the bridge or on a bench at the park. There are some neighborhoods that are very cheap.
- Those Who Cannot Afford Clothing: Just like food and shelter, clothing is important in our lives. Don’t you just love that fur coat you wear during winter? And the parka boots that are so comfortable? There are so many people in the society that cannot afford that. Their clothes are so thin because they have been wearing it for a long time. When the seasons change, they dread it because they have nothing warm to put on. This category of people is not only restricted to those on the streets. Your neighbor down the street might not be able to afford decent clothing too.
How to Support and Improve Lives of the Poor
There are several ways to support the poor. The support can be from the government. Notwithstanding, as individuals, we can help the poor personally. Also, we can join forces with the leaders for the success of the programs they have put in place. Here are some ways to improve the lives of the poor:
- Financial Loans: I can remember a shoe cobbler I met some time ago. She is very skilled but undeveloped. Almost everyone that saw the shoe on me asked for her address. You know what? A lot of them did not buy from her because when they visited and saw her workstation, they thought I gave them the wrong address. What went wrong in this case? The obvious factor which is that some poor individuals have great skills but no financial capability to create a moving business. Soft loans should be made available to the poor to give them a chance to a better life.
- Education: Some individuals will live a much productive life if they get educated. With the advent of technology, we do not have much need for manual laborers anymore. Poor people should be helped to get educated. It could be formal education or vocational training. If they know that getting the tutoring is free for them, they will be more encouraged to get educated. As individuals, you can make donations towards free education in your society.
- Free Healthcare: Several poor people are prone to various diseases due to their standard and style of living. We should all advocate and contribute to free healthcare programs. If the poor are healthy, they will be able to focus on income-generating aspects of their lives. Moreover, there will be fewer diseases, especially the rampant infections in our society.
- Social Amenities: Water, electricity, recreational centers and some other social amenities should be made available to the poor at no cost or relatively affordable fee. These little things will make them have some social security.
There are so many poor people in our society. If you have been advantaged to have a better life than them, the rewarding thing to do is to contribute your quota toward improving someone’s living condition. Now is a good time for you to start helping the poor around you.
Photo Credit: Borgenproject