Being poor can mean different things for different people.
The word “poor” is being used rather loosely by people like you and I.
But what does it really mean to be poor?
According to the World Bank,
Being extremely poor is when you live on US$1.90 per day or S$2.70 per day or thereabouts.
Being moderately poor is when you live on less than US$3.10 or S$4.42 per day.
* But this benchmark is mainly for people living in developing countries.*
For people living in developed countries, things are more expensive as compared to developing countries, so even if they earn more than US$1.90 per day, they could very well still fall in the poor category.
What is life like when you are very poor?
On most days, they don’t get to eat 3 meals per day.
When they fall sick, they don’t have the money to buy medicine or see a doctor.
Children from poor families don’t get to go to school, but instead stay to help their parents look after younger siblings or work to get money.
They do not have clean running water and proper toilets in their home.
When people are poor, is it their own fault?
Of course not.
Poor people are poor NOT because they are not smart.
Poor people are poor NOT because they are not capable.
Poor people are poor BECAUSE of circumstances.
This means, once someone is born into a poor family, they are most likely to remain poor for the rest of their life. The cycle goes on and on as it is very hard to break out of poverty because they do not get the education they need or the support they require.
Are poor people always unhappy?
There is no doubt that the stress of survival is always on the minds of the poor.
But it does not mean that poor people are doomed for eternal sadness.
Poor people can easily be more content with very small things, because small things is better than nothing.
Poor people learn to associate their happiness with non-material things.
Poor people learn to be resourceful. Sometimes the lack of something forces them to be more creative.
What can we do for them?
You can download this community involvement plan and plan out your family’s involvement in the coming months. Not only will you make the poor happy by your gesture, you will be making yourself happy to be able to help someone in need too!
Download this community involvement plan here.