Re: The culture of poverty
From: Mmariner (
Date: Tue, 16 May 95 18:39 CDT
Karen F (or was it her quoting Joani) said, (referring to people from lower
income backgrounds.)

.. if we could be welcoming of such difference, and not just accepting of it
but acknowledging of our own needs of the gifts others have to offer, think
how much people from these neighborhoods would have to offer us. 

Let's come up with more benefits to the coho community that welcomes these

-  You said - a sense of perspective -- I assume a perspective that material
goods and living in plush surroundings is not what makes a rich, meaningful
life.  (Not that poverty makes us noble or wise!)  

-  Resourcefulness -- finding ways to get what you need without paying
somebody else to solve the problem

-  Simplicity - kids from the poor sides of town were appreciative of our
meager resources at a California city-sponsored day camp.  I dreaded when the
bus brought kids from a rich part of town.

-  Willing to take risks, try something new

-  Self-reliance -- bringing creativity out of yourself and your friends when
there aren't a lot of resources 

-  Directness -- dealing with things straight up, not being circumspect or
content with half answers or a lot of verbal mumbo jumbo and obfuscation.

-  Ethnic variety - each ethnicity comes with different worldviews, different
ways of expressing themselves.  I usually feel enlivened and invigorated from
experiencing the variety.

Course all of these qualities can have a downside.  And, bottom line, these
people need to be folks you can work with, who can cooperate enough to make
the community thrive.

But take the chance, introduce some variety and richness.  As Karen/Joani
said, you, too will benefit.


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