My commentary below was written in response to this above Ted Talk video…you might want to watch it first then 🙂
Wow, so much to say here.
First, it’s really hard to believe that you know what it’s like to be in poverty. That’s not an insult, but trust a person who grew up in poverty (me) that people like you never get it…your name is literally “Teva”……………good grief sigh
So…let me help you get it, if even a little bit.
All this talk about “heart”…well, that’s adorable….generationally privileged (mostly) white suburban people ALWAYS think they can just swing into these kinds of things with all the textbooks they read in college and start slinging all their “compassion” around, and that will fix everything.
So….you didn’t mention this word “compassion”, but it’s used so much by people in your demographic that it’s literally become a highly marketable and profitable brand to sell cous cous, avocados, middling wines, and Smart Cars to.
But let me tell you a little something about your sense of “compassion” for them that people in poverty will NEVER actually reveal to you in person…
…are you ready for this?
POOR PEOPLE see, and FEEL, privileged people’s sense of COMPASSION as…pity.
Which really is exactly what it is…the bigger word that’s always connected to pity is condescension…..because THAT’S what it really is.
People in poverty are VERY different than people who grew up in privilege….and if it’s one thing that ALL people in poverty HATE to their very core, is to be pitied.
So..you might think that you’re helping people and they will all smile and thank you and hugs joy happy happy pants dances all around you….but they will never tell you what they really think and feel about you….which is not pleasant.
They won’t tell you because, one, they’re nice (mostly), and two…well……they’re afraid of people like you……why?
…because YOU have the POWER.
Just ONE insult to your sense of COMPASSION…and you would completely destroy them in a moment of pure rage…………be honest..isn’t that what you want to do to me right now because I told you this?
Have I insulted you with this truth?
Thanks to the military, I got out of my ghetto, then went to college, earned my degree in Biology, and my Teacher Certification…then I went right back to the very community that I grew up in to help them….get out of poverty.
What people in your demographic need to understand is that poverty…like priviledge…is social. Most people in poverty don’t actually want to get out of poverty, because it would distrupt their existing, loving, relationships with OTHER people in poverty who are their friends and family….people who they have learned to TRUST.
…and they will never Trust you because you’re nothing like them…does that make sense?
THAT is why ending poverty is hard….throwing money at them, building homes, raising the minimum wage ..none of that crap works.
Once privilege people understand what I just wrote, and NOT feel insulted by it but, instead, take it to HEART ….then, maybe, we can actually have a real conversation to end poverty….which could be as simple as a good $10 florescent light from Lowes so they can read books at home in good lighting during early childhood development.