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Poor is an attitude


dairyfreelife

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Wtf?

When I went to Haiti on a mission trip in 2003, I witnessed some of the deepest levels of poverty I have ever seen...Even in their deep need, the people I met were far happier and more content than the spoiled American society that we live in.

We are making the choice to teach our children this valuable life lesson. Through simple living, we are teaching them to be content with what we have. No, they don’t have name brand clothes, a lot of junk food, or fancy toys. They don’t “get to†eat out a lot or go on expensive vacations. But they are happy and enjoy the simple things in life. They are content.

They are a lot richer than most of the children around us who have every possible want fulfilled.

A "my children are better than yours" post. Don't we all love those? :roll:

ETA: Forgot link. :oops: servingjoyfully.com/2012/06/06/poor-is-in-the-attitude/

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I think there's probably some difference in being impoverished in a wealthy country and being impoverished in an impoverished country. It also depends greatly on the community in which one lives and how supportive they are of your family/children/needs. There's also a difference between being in a family that can afford to feed and clothe every member (though not necessarily expensively) and being in a family where there is literally not enough to meet the basic needs of the parents and children. :?

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But let me guess, her kids eat regularly and live in a house built up to modern US code with actual rebar in the cement, right? And she's not sending any of them out to work at age seven for the experience, right?

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Here is th comment I left

There are good debts and bad debts. Debt-free is something to strive for but isn't a requirement to be Christian. I never took Christianity to mean getting rid of life's little pleasure's. And while I agree with teaching kids the value of money, I see nothing wrong with treating yourself or family if the budget allows. No family is better than the other because they don't see Disney or don't buy Johnny or Susie a new computer. That sounds as haughty as bragging about buying fancy things. I don't begrudge those who can have a few nicer things than me. Oh and poor is right here in America.
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She went to Haiti in 2003. Whatever she saw was probably nothing compared to the state the country is in post-earthquake.

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Here is th comment I left

So true. I hate to think of all the debt-free Christians who are shilling out rent every month while AND saving up for a house because they don't believe in mortgages. It's like paying twice.

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I think she has a point about attitude, though I wouldn't phrase it quite like she has. Our culture is quite materialistic, which is made even more apparent by experiencing poverty first-hand (no matter where you are). However, as much as Haitian people have learned to 'make the best of a bad situation,' I don't doubt that they'd jump at the chance to better their lives, which I think is what's missing from her post. After all, if dirt floors and no running water, etc. are that edifying, she'd have that for herself.

I realize I'm 'preaching to the choir' here, but oh well. That's my $0.02. :)

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So true. I hate to think of all the debt-free Christians who are shilling out rent every month while AND saving up for a house because they don't believe in mortgages. It's like paying twice.

That is the one thing I NEVER understood either. I mean, I'm not Christian, but I am pretty debt-averse and conservative when it comes to money. I've been lucky to avoid most debt in my life - but a mortgage was one kind of debt I happily took on, because unless you have some free living situation elsewhere as a SAHD or whatever, it's SMARTER to get a mortgage (if you can find one for similar payments as rent) if you know you're planning to buy a house in the area anyway (you don't plan to move and you have reasonable income ability to eventually pay the price of the house, such that a bank is willing to loan you money if you ask).

Thinking "why yes, I am saving up money to buy a house in this neighborhood, a bank would be willing to give me a loan, but meanwhile I'm renting in this neighborhood, but hey, I'm debt-free!" is just wtf? to me.

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That is the one thing I NEVER understood either. I mean, I'm not Christian, but I am pretty debt-averse and conservative when it comes to money. I've been lucky to avoid most debt in my life - but a mortgage was one kind of debt I happily took on, because unless you have some free living situation elsewhere as a SAHD or whatever, it's SMARTER to get a mortgage (if you can find one for similar payments as rent) if you know you're planning to buy a house in the area anyway (you don't plan to move and you have reasonable income ability to eventually pay the price of the house, such that a bank is willing to loan you money if you ask).

Thinking "why yes, I am saving up money to buy a house in this neighborhood, a bank would be willing to give me a loan, but meanwhile I'm renting in this neighborhood, but hey, I'm debt-free!" is just wtf? to me.

Absolutely agree. At least with a mortgage you're investing in something for the future, but rent is just money out the window, so to speak.

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I think she has a point about attitude, though I wouldn't phrase it quite like she has. Our culture is quite materialistic, which is made even more apparent by experiencing poverty first-hand (no matter where you are). However, as much as Haitian people have learned to 'make the best of a bad situation,' I don't doubt that they'd jump at the chance to better their lives, which I think is what's missing from her post. After all, if dirt floors and no running water, etc. are that edifying, she'd have that for herself.

I realize I'm 'preaching to the choir' here, but oh well. That's my $0.02. :)

Actually I think you put a finger on what bugs me about so many of those "oh, my kids are so materialistic I need to Teach Them" posts - usually it's the parents waxing nostalgic about idealized poverty and trying to push it on their kids, while not giving up luxuries of their own. So they'll say sure, the kids don't need toys, but meanwhile they're not giving up having the latest celphone and plenty of cosmetics or whatever their own personal adult luxuries are.

I also agree that poverty is relative. So many pundits in the US lately like to say "how can anyone complain about poverty in the US, when people elsewhere in the world live in shacks with no running water in the middle of urban slums and are happy" while completely forgetting that, even aside from just what that "happy" actually means, you CAN'T really live that way in the US. The system is different, the infrastructure is different, the community that manages to make that situation "work" just isn't there. Prices are different. Etc.

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I think she has a point about attitude, though I wouldn't phrase it quite like she has. Our culture is quite materialistic, which is made even more apparent by experiencing poverty first-hand (no matter where you are). However, as much as Haitian people have learned to 'make the best of a bad situation,' I don't doubt that they'd jump at the chance to better their lives, which I think is what's missing from her post. After all, if dirt floors and no running water, etc. are that edifying, she'd have that for herself.

I realize I'm 'preaching to the choir' here, but oh well. That's my $0.02. :)

A positive attitude can definitely go a long way, but I think it's that much harder because we DO live in such a materialistic culture. It's really hard to break out of what society tells us is important and valuable. It's possible, obviously, there are lots of examples. But we're given these images of the 'perfect' life from the time we're born, and also told that all it takes to achieve the dream life is hard work. Then we become adults and discover that it's not necessarily true, because everyone on the bottom rung is trying to move up the ladder, and there are only so many spaces at the top. I think that's one of the big reasons that in the US there's a connection between poverty and domestic abuse/substance abuse. Willing yourself to be happy with what you have is really tough when you're constantly bombarded with what you've been taught you're SUPPOSED to have. People get bitter, give up, and then lash out.

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Actually I think you put a finger on what bugs me about so many of those "oh, my kids are so materialistic I need to Teach Them" posts - usually it's the parents waxing nostalgic about idealized poverty and trying to push it on their kids, while not giving up luxuries of their own. So they'll say sure, the kids don't need toys, but meanwhile they're not giving up having the latest celphone and plenty of cosmetics or whatever their own personal adult luxuries are.

I also agree that poverty is relative. So many pundits in the US lately like to say "how can anyone complain about poverty in the US, when people elsewhere in the world live in shacks with no running water in the middle of urban slums and are happy" while completely forgetting that, even aside from just what that "happy" actually means, you CAN'T really live that way in the US. The system is different, the infrastructure is different, the community that manages to make that situation "work" just isn't there. Prices are different. Etc.

Yes, like Emily of Under$1000AMonth used to say "but most of the world lives on less than $1 US a day". Which may be true (probably not anymore, but yes, most of the world lives on the equivalent of very few $US.

But they aren't paying rents in the hundreds of US dollars for the most basic housing available. Essential goods are much cheaper in those countries. They certainly aren't paying 3.99 for a bell pepper!!! (sorry, the bell pepper bit was a joke that maybe some of you, maybe none of you will get).

It's just not very easy to make a comparison in dollar amounts, which is why standard of living data takes heaps of variables into account.

It's not just about western privilege and sense of entitlement, although there is no shortage of either in most of the western world too.

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I also agree that poverty is relative. So many pundits in the US lately like to say "how can anyone complain about poverty in the US, when people elsewhere in the world live in shacks with no running water in the middle of urban slums and are happy" while completely forgetting that, even aside from just what that "happy" actually means, you CAN'T really live that way in the US. The system is different, the infrastructure is different, the community that manages to make that situation "work" just isn't there. Prices are different. Etc.

Except that there are people who live that way in the US, and Canada. We just prefer to call them homeless and shuffle them off to some out of the way place because those who do have a place to live don't want to have them in the middle of a major city reminding them that there are people in an industrialized, wealthy country who live without proper housing, running water, electricity, or reliable means of feeding themselves and/or their family.

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Yes, like Emily of Under$1000AMonth used to say "but most of the world lives on less than $1 US a day". Which may be true (probably not anymore, but yes, most of the world lives on the equivalent of very few $US.

But they aren't paying rents in the hundreds of US dollars for the most basic housing available. Essential goods are much cheaper in those countries. They certainly aren't paying 3.99 for a bell pepper!!! (sorry, the bell pepper bit was a joke that maybe some of you, maybe none of you will get).

It's just not very easy to make a comparison in dollar amounts, which is why standard of living data takes heaps of variables into account.

It's not just about western privilege and sense of entitlement, although there is no shortage of either in most of the western world too.

^^ This! Plus being "rich" or "poor" also depends on where you live and what the people around you have. In a third world country, the kid who owns a rubber football can be seen as "rich". In other parts of the world, a child is considered "poor" if the parents can't afford to buy a bicycle or have one functioning computer with Internet access in the household.

Yes, we are rich in the Western countries but that doesn't make it fair for parents to deny their kids everything with the excuse "oh, but think about the kids in Africa".

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This woman doesn't seem to understand that while children in Africa may be surviving, they are not thriving. People can survive through quite a bit of pain and hardship and still put on a happy face. I'm sure the wife of an abusive man doesn't go watch her son play baseball and think, "well, it's okay that hubby beats the shit out of him. He's HAPPY! He's SMILING!! We are all doing GREAT!" (Unless she is that in denial, but that's a whole new topic altogether).

If those people didn't try to get through their very hard lives by making the best of it, their existence would be very bleak indeed.

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Being poor isn't an attitude, being poor means not being able to sustain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle implies health care and the basic needs met (clothing, education, food, shelter, sport/leisure, transportation and the occasional "time away from home to relax") and a balance between work and time off. That's all.

No need to get on your high Trojan horse and lump people together.

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I've been thinking about this, beacuse someone's being doing graffiti on the bridge we go under: "beautiful to live in poverty just to spite what they're selling"

I can't help thinking that someone's never been Actually Poor. There's a difference between the simple life and not being able to eat.

(While many people agree that women don't need make-up to be attractive, very few people would try to argue that NieNie's burns, for example, enhance her looks.)

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I can't believe how obsessed with money fundy Christians are. The bible says not to let money become your god but it seems to me that the obsession with debt free is exactly that. Don't go into debt. Buy used and save the difference. Don't accept government welfare. (Accept all 'love offerings' from your church but don't you dare touch government assistance!) Fundies are far more focused on money than the people I know who are in debt.

Actually, fundies only have two topics of converstion; sex and money. Big, flashing DON'T signs in front of them, of course.

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Oh dear... this just hit that 'kill it with fire button' rooted deep in my skull. There is nothing I HATE more than the 'oh poor people are so happy with what they have' bs. Sure, I am sure some people ARE happy starving or walking on the hot summer's concrete with no shoes, not being able to go to school because they can't afford the uniforms or having to share every meal because they have nothing else to eat. Oh and lets not get into how HAPPY some poor people are when they have to hike to get drinking water or when they are dying of illnesses that are easily curable but have no money to even get on the bus to go to the hospital, let alone medication. No... fuck that, I live in a third world country and let me to tell you one thing: poor people are not happier or more content with what they have than your average Joe. Get off your high horse (not you guys, whoever wrote that bullshit)!!

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I think she has a point about attitude, though I wouldn't phrase it quite like she has. Our culture is quite materialistic, which is made even more apparent by experiencing poverty first-hand (no matter where you are). However, as much as Haitian people have learned to 'make the best of a bad situation,' I don't doubt that they'd jump at the chance to better their lives, which I think is what's missing from her post. After all, if dirt floors and no running water, etc. are that edifying, she'd have that for herself.

I realize I'm 'preaching to the choir' here, but oh well. That's my $0.02. :)

Okay maybe this is just me but... I live with extreme poverty all around me and thankfully I usually have enough money to eat and if I don't my parents are more than willing to help me out (I have gone to bed hungry more than once though, mind you) but I rather my kids be 'materialistic' than have 'a good attitude'. I understand money is not everything and I want my children to know that but oh does it ever help to have what you need and some extra for say... ice cream.

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Okay maybe this is just me but... I live with extreme poverty all around me and thankfully I usually have enough money to eat and if I don't my parents are more than willing to help me out (I have gone to bed hungry more than once though, mind you) but I rather my kids be 'materialistic' than have 'a good attitude'. I understand money is not everything and I want my children to know that but oh does it ever help to have what you need and some extra for say... ice cream.

A lot of people who have never had any long term experience with poverty (either being surrounded by it or living it) don't understand that when you are worried about when your next meal is going to come and whether you are going to have a roof over your head that night, you don't have time to worry about things like whether or not you are happy, or if you want to do a family night that week.

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A lot of people who have never had any long term experience with poverty (either being surrounded by it or living it) don't understand that when you are worried about when your next meal is going to come and whether you are going to have a roof over your head that night, you don't have time to worry about things like whether or not you are happy, or if you want to do a family night that week.

Exactly... I can't tell you how many times I just went to bed, woke up, kissed my boyfriend, went to school, went straight to work for 10 hours, then came home, did homework and slept. Of course I seemed pumped and happy but because what time did I have to sit down and think about my life and how I wish it was different? None... if I did I'd lose the precious time I have to do other stuff. I would not consider myself 'poor' though. Mind you this is not because I think it's a bad term but because compared to most around me? Going a day without having dinner is... not a big deal. I have a home... that is SO much more than others can say! I am privileged, actually. Even if the other day I ran out of money for the bus and had to call my dad to please take me home... that is nothing compared to some.

Another thing I wanted to point out. Sometimes people forget that of course these people are HAPPY... they are getting help! Some others are not so lucky. DO they appreciate things more? I think this is relative, really. They just appreciate the help because they needed and I think anyone would appreciate help in times of need, even the riches of the rich would be EXTREMELY appreciative of say 'hugs' when they need them. But try being with them day in and day out when not receiving any kind of help and I'm sure you'll see a different side.

Or maybe I am a cynical bitch =P

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Huge difference between choosing to live poor like the fundies do ("Oh we don't believe in debt so the headship and our 9 kids will live in an unheated VW bus with no running water while he ponders his calling as a godly warrior") and having no other alternative because your country has been in civil war for the last 20 years or you just has a tsunami or a drought or whatever. Life is so much more pleasant when you don't have to decide which one of your children will eat that day.

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Huge difference between choosing to live poor like the fundies do ("Oh we don't believe in debt so the headship and our 9 kids will live in an unheated VW bus with no running water while he ponders his calling as a godly warrior") and having no other alternative because your country has been in civil war for the last 20 years or you just has a tsunami or a drought or whatever. Life is so much more pleasant when you don't have to decide which one of your children will eat that day.

agreed 100%

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Okay maybe this is just me but... I live with extreme poverty all around me and thankfully I usually have enough money to eat and if I don't my parents are more than willing to help me out (I have gone to bed hungry more than once though, mind you) but I rather my kids be 'materialistic' than have 'a good attitude'. I understand money is not everything and I want my children to know that but oh does it ever help to have what you need and some extra for say... ice cream.

^this

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