I’m not sure one knows poverty unless one has lived it. I never lived it. I thought I’d seen it. But even now, I’m not so sure.
I saw children come to school with worn shoes that were too big and fell off when they tried to run.
I saw children come to school, six years old, and stand in line for a hand-out breakfast and say, “Thank you. That was good.”
I found children who slept in boxes under a bridge – was that poverty and no one cared, or was it fear of what was home?
I talked with parents who had no place to go – was that fear, or was that poor decisions, or was that poverty?
Is it too lazy to work or is it unable to find work?
Is it poor judgment in whatever decisions were made?
Is it giving up – nothing has helped the past despair?
Is it too easy to wait for help, for a hand out? Or is there no way to turn?
You know it’s real when you watch television. Those children and families are not actors.
The big problem may not be poverty, its faces, or its choices. It’s the solution that is evasive and difficult.
Poverty may bring us together. Sharing may ease the pain.