In my last post I tried to describe what poverty looks like in practice. Here I want to rephrase the same statements and pose the following question in the beginning.
How would you respond to someone who describes his/her situation in a low-income country?
I look at my children and worry that they will have the same life I have – that is, they will have to struggle to make ends meet all the time.
Playing a musical instrument is a remote possibility for me and my children, because I can never afford the tuition fees or the instrument itself.
I can’t see any hope for the future for me and my family, even though I work long hours everyday of the week.
My children have to work everyday to earn money rather than playing with other children.
My daily desire is that some day my economic situation can improve to a place where I can feel safe for my family, rather than a lifestyle where we can flourish and enjoy life's pleasures (because the latter is so out of our reach that I don't think we will get there).
I feel that people look down on me and my children, because I am powerless socially and economically. I know that I am trapped in a cycle of poverty and I cannot see a way out.
A US$3 coffee seems to be far too expensive for me.
If my loved one goes to the hospital she/he will be sleeping in a small portable bed in a busy corridor because the hospital is too crowded.
I don't know what "taking a break to get away for a holiday" is, because I need to work very hard to make ends meet.
I worry that I will be begging on the street if anyone in the family gets chronically sick.
I can’t imagine that I will ever travel overseas because I can never afford it. In fact, the few people I know who have travelled overseas are considered to be really wealthy by people in my social circle.
I know what it means to be marginalised due to the fact that the rich and powerful in my city call the shots.
The stress of not having enough money causes ongoing tension and disharmony in the family, leading to domestic violence and constant distress among the children.
My whole family sleeps in one bed, not because I choose to but because there is no room.
The daily stress and/or the marginalisation I have experienced leaves me emotionally scarred, but I know that I need to be strong for the sake of my loved ones.
Sometimes I just want to cry because life is simply too hard.