Saturday, February 14, 2015


"The essence of poverty is shame," Anne Sullivan. Read this document about Anne Sullivan's time at the Tewksbury Almshouse (25 pages). It's incredible. BTW, she's the Miracle Worker, the one who taught Helen Keller.
Her statement is true on so many levels. Have you ever felt ashamed about something? The way you looked? Your family? Reading in class? In each instance, the shame was a result of poverty. I have felt the shame, but never recognized the accompanying poverty.
Take some time to remember a moment of shame in your life (recent or otherwise). What was happening? Why did it make you feel that way?
For example: In high school, I hated social situations (yes, high school is a cliché and was a long time ago, but it's so convenient!). I was usually embarrassed and uncomfortable because I never measured up to the other girls--all of whom were beautiful, well put together, stylish, name it, they had it and I didn't.
Where's the poverty? That was just high school, right? Well, yes. I was uneducated in the ways of personal grooming (I'm still not stellar, I'll be honest). Oh, my clothes were cleaned, I bathed daily and did my hair, I brushed my teeth. But I had no clue about what to wear and how. (I have a very distinct memory of one of my friends untucking my shirt (after asking if it was a body suit). I was so grateful for the help because I didn't know). I didn't know how to do my hair all cute or my make up (seriously, either a clown did it or I didn't wear anything).
I was also poor in self-confidence. Yeah, I walked out the door looking somewhat freakish, but spent most of my time hiding behind books and hoping no one tried engaging in chit chat with me (unless they were my very close friends who understood the nerd that I was--okay, am). I was uncomfortable because I didn't fit in and I knew it. But imagine if I had the confidence to not worry about that so much, to know myself and wants without worrying about everything else.
Sorry this isn't a lovey-dovey post for Valentine's Day. I think you'll get over it. I know I am. And now that I'm aware of how impoverished I am, I can get to work on it. Because some types of poverty can be fixed without a mountain of money. :)

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