There is bad luck, then there is our reaction to that bad luck.
The so called trap or cycle of poverty is not about the actual bad luck or unfortunate circumstances, but in the way we respond to it by dulling the heart and mind and moving into a life, dominated by our bodies.
Sex makes us feel powerful when really we are powerless, beer makes us forget what should not be forgotten and food gives us a feeling of fullness to ignore a deep emptiness. In sex, food and beer men satisfy their heart, body and mind- cheaply, immediately, sadly.
In this state, apathy rules. Yet, when confronted with the success or ambition of a peer, the hidden soul peeps out to slander, gossip or complain. The desire for unity or cooperation is long gone and the impulse towards change has withered.
The trust in hope, and the hope in trust have made way for resentment and self-pity.
Yet, the eating, drinking and fucking goes on… it dampens the hurt of the hungry heart.
Power is the ability to choose. The ability to choose to act and to influence. But before we reach the question of choosing what; there is the issue of simple choice and whether someone has the freedom to choose, whether they sense the freedom to choose.
This boils down to two things: hope and self-confidence. If I do not have an expectation of a better tomorrow and a confidence in my own worth and abilities, i will not be free to make great or even good choices.
I wrote this as a reflection on the obstacles to alleviate poverty, analyzing why people are stuck in destructive and stagnant patterns.
But as these principles are true as reasons why ‘the poor’ do not lift themselves out of material need, so they are equally pertinent as causal factors for the so called ‘rich’ to be stuck in lives of mediocre enslavement, addiction and fear.
The rich isolates themselves into clusters of gadget, style and security seeking robots and they lose hope in a life of meaning, dignity, sacrifice and learning. The chuck hope and settle for comfort. Why? The same reason as to why the youth living in a shack does not risk spectacular failure: the insecurity of self, the lack of really liking and loving yourself leaves you tied to the opinion of your ‘peers’ and you are to damn scared to be different.
Rich and poor… So close to each other, such identical struggles; yet we think we have nothing to share or talk about, besides the usual giggling about chicken feet, praising the rhythm of Africans, painting walls and daydreaming about fancy cars…Not sure if its sad or funny.