April 2, 2008

Poverty: A State of Mind or Being?

"Many women are poor because no one wants to help poor black women" was the comment from an attendee of Virtuous Enterprises, Inc. (VEINC), first Sister Table Talk Tour held in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland.

Should the plight of poverty among low-income, women heads-of-households in the Washington region be associated with people refusing to help? If this is true, why do people turn their backs on the down-trodden? If it isn't true, why is poverty a growing trend among women in the Washington region?

During the Sister Table Talk forum held at the Spaulding Branch Library in Forestville, Maryland, the attendees concurred that poverty is a combination of mind and being - 'in order to change what one lacks tangibly, one must first change their mind.'

The topic reminds me of the story of a lame man who was carried and laid daily at the gate of the temple called Beautiful to ask for alms (i.e., money). When the lame man saw Peter and John (disciples that went to the temple to pray), he asked them for alms. When Peter saw the lame man, he asked him to look at him and the lame man did with anticipation to receive money. However, Peter told the man, "Silver and gold, have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Peter took the lame man by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately the lame man's feet and ankle bones received strength and he entered the temple with Peter and John leaping, walking, and praising God for his healing. (Acts 3:1-9)

The moral of this story is, some people need self-empowerment to lift themselves from the 'paralysis' of circumstance. Since the lame man lived his life based on how he was born and not what he could become, he automatically lived a defeated life. Money wasn't what he needed to receive strength to walk on his own, his soul needed to be revived or quickened to get the guts to get up and walk on his own.

There are may societal inhibitors that contribute to poverty regardless of gender or ethnicity, but the 'true' transition to economic stability and security has to start from within to receive and accept 'positive' change.

What are your thoughts about poverty? Do you believe it's a state of mind or being? What do you believe is the root cause of poverty among women in the Washington Region? Do you believe poverty exists in Prince George's County, Maryland? When you think of poverty, what's the first picture that comes to your mind? What do you believe can decrease and/or eradicate poverty among low-income, women-headed families?

Our next Sister Table Talk Tour will be held on Saturday, April 19 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at the Fairmount Heights Branch Library in Fairmount Heights, Maryland. To RSVP, please call 301.316.1955 x707 or send an email to events@veinc.org.

Our next Blog discussion, Poverty: The new return on family investment.

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