To those who grew up poor, impoverished, or even penurious, how did this affect you?
Did such make you want to get out of poverty? Or were you resigned regarding your impoverished condition, never wanting more? Did you even rationalize your poverty?
For a long time it affected me badly; scarcity is a good word. I was in the scarcity mindset. Before the term 'scarcity' caught on, I called it the poverty mindset. I grew up around the scarcity mindset where it was natural to be very suspicious of the 'haves' because we were the 'have nots,' and we moaned about how life wasn't fair and feeling like we got the short end of the stick. And a lot of times we did. And we waited for our ship to come in or for someone to come rescue us or for some kind of miracle, because if those things didn't happen, we didn't expect anything to change.
But as I got older and started looking around, I came to realize we have more control over our lives than I'd learned from the attitudes around me. I realized a lot of times that short stick came to us because it's about the best we'd earned. Things changed for me when I decided to take responsibility for myself and within a few years I'd worked my way up and out of that kind of mindset, and that kind of lifestyle.
My husband did the same, he had less than me growing up because he didn't even have a home, he was abandoned and grew up in a government group home for teens. But he also saw the whole poverty mindset was unconducive to ever breaking out of the cycle of poverty.
There are people in poverty because they truly cannot help themselves-- if they are disabled in some way (elderly, wounded veterans) or mentally ill or something, then obviously there is a real problem there. But a lot of other people are fairly healthy bodies and fairly healthy minds who remain in the cycle of poverty more due to a way of thinking and a way of looking at life. It's very sad.
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