The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

March 7, 2013

People do matter, even those in poverty

I learned something over the past few days. Life is challenging, but the odds are insurmountable when you live in poverty.

Poverty is not about money. It’s about power. Living in poverty strips you of your power.

Poverty causes you to live in a rundown trailer park with nothing underneath you but a piece of tin foil. Your windows are taped up and your roof leaks. You are afraid to tell the landlord because you’re behind on your rent. You don’t have your personal things because they are in storage somewhere, and you are behind on that payment too … or you were evicted once and not allowed to get your things out of the house.

No one knew you existed until a tornado blew through your trailer park and it put you on the map. You’re a single mother. You work the night shift and you ride your bike to work every evening.

Your children get themselves up and walk two miles to school every day unless the weather is bad. The school is upset because your children are always late or hungry or disruptive. They don’t see the fact your children show up to school every day as completely amazing.

There is no way I could reduce the challenges of poverty to a paragraph. And, these examples are assuming you are white, don’t have a mental illness and are not disabled.

The problems are so big the government can’t even solve them. Half the country is out of work right now.

But, there is a difference between being poor and being submersed in poverty. A man can lose his job and his family can become poor. He believes if he works hard enough, things will get better.

If someone living in poverty paid every bill on time for the rest of their life, they would still be in poverty. That’s why someone can buy beer and cigarettes and not pay their light bill. They know it’s not going to matter anyway. Poverty develops that kind of hopelessness.

Do I think driving down a dirt road to meet a family living in a rundown trailer on top of a piece of tin foil makes a difference?

Maybe. But it’s not just going to the places nobody else wants to go.

It’s about seeing people nobody else sees. That’s what makes the difference.

That’s why I will continue to meet in hotel rooms, stand in line at the health department with pregnant teenagers, and sit with children whose parents steal their allowance to buy drugs.

All that for a mediocre paycheck and a swarming caseload. I will do it because people matter.

The odds are insurmountable when you live in poverty. But, I will go to work again on Monday, believing the odds are in their favor. If I didn’t believe that, I could not do this work.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” — Matthew 25:37-40

Follow Sarah Thompson, who is a social worker in the Enid area,      at mysemi-dysfunctionallife.blogspot.com or email her at   uncommongrace1@gmail.com.

1
Text Only
Enid Features
  • Judy rupp.jpg Wear shades and save your eyesight

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • peggy goodrich.jpg Are you hungry for knowledge?

    I am so pleased that Enid and other cities are offering “Lifelong Learning.” It consists of classes on current events, art appreciation, psychology, our government and other interesting topics.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • denny.krick.80th.jpg Krick, 80

    Dr. Denny Krick will celebrate his 80th birthday in Branson, Mo., from April 17-21. Cards may be sent to 2610 Indian Dr., Enid, OK 73703.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mary.Oller.90th.jpg Oller, 90

    Mary Oller will celebrate her 90th birthday with family on Saturday, April 19. Cards may be sent to 3219 W. Cherokee, Enid, OK 73703.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Menus for 4/14/14

    April 13, 2014

  • Datebook for 4/13/14

    April 12, 2014

  • Judy rupp.jpg Crohn’s: Another type of urgency

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leatherman, Mildred_94.jpg Leatherman, 94

    Mildred Leatherman will celebrate her 94th birthday with a reception for family and friends at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the TPI Building, 320 W. Maple. She requests no gifts. Cards may be sent to 125 N. Burdet, Enid, OK 73701.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • peggy goodrich.jpg Gadgets for every purpose

    Do you fall for every new-fangled gadget? Think about it.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lansdown, Maxine, 88.jpg Lansdown, 88

    Maxine Tomlin Lansdown will celebrate her 88th birthday with family on Monday, April 14, 2014, at her home at 4913 Evandale, Enid, OK 73703.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star
House Ads
Comics