Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Defense of Being Poor

No, that's not a facetious title. I credit all my best traits and most of my accomplishments to the fact that I grew up poor.

"Poor" is defined as "having little or no wealth and few or no possessions."

I mean, I wasn't living in a shack with no running water poor, but I was one of five children (and normally one or two foster kids) with a father in the Philadelphia Fire Department and a stay-at-home mom with 4 of the 5 kids in private school. Money was tight to say the least.

So I learned to sew. I learned to paint. I learned to cut hair. To do calligraphy. I learned to cook and bake. And I knew I had to get a full scholarship to college...and I did.

I think it's pretty fair to say that none of that would have happened if I had been outfitted with disposable cash.

So when I'm going about my day, using all the talents bestowed upon me by the demands of poverty, and hear the constant class warfare arguments on the news...it really bothers me. Character should be built and not bought.

The "American Dream" is the chance at a "better, richer, and happier life"...not that everyone will get filthy rich and turn their children into horrible, little entitled beings. I once knew a kid that had a keychain that read, "I'm not spoiled, I'm just rich." He had no redeemable traits that I could detect, but he did have a 911 Carrera at 17...the "American Dream?" The school that I mentioned in the 'mean girls' school was my least favorite to teach at...and the most affluent...the "American Dream?"

Truthfully, I think being "poor" is vastly unrated...

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