When communities build walls to separate their people
(due to a poverty of understanding or compassion), the lack can seem insurmountable.
“The world tends to define poverty and riches simply in terms of economics. But poverty has many faces—weakness, dependence, and many forms of humiliation. Essentially, poverty is a lack of means to accomplish what one desires or needs, be it lack of money, relationships, influence, power, intellectual ability, physical strength, freedom, or dignity.”—Richard Rohr.
Rohr’s words convey that the concept of poverty goes beyond dollars and cents. At its heart, poverty is a lack of something—something that is crucial to humanness.
You know people (or you may have experienced it yourself) who have the dollars and cents but are poor (lack) in:
- critical thinking
- respect for others
- respect for selves
- virtuous action
When we experience poverty we feel, in that space, a separation from those who have what we do not. It could be ego-based, or it could just as well be survival-oriented. Whatever its roots, it is real to us.
When communities build walls to separate their people (due to a poverty of understanding or compassion), the lack can seem insurmountable. When those barriers are breached by humanity—kindness, understanding, assistance, education, nourishment on physical, spiritual, and emotional levels—we have a chance to address poverty.
When we continue to separate, demonize, fail to understand, or do not even attempt to communicate, poverty deepens.
Video recommendation for the week:
One view of poverty.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
For information about and to order my book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).
(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.