There is a disconnect, you could say a deep valley, between how the rich view their behavior and how the poor perceive their treatment. Those in poverty often feel like “the man” is working against them. The rich, on the other hand, feel they have nothing “against” the poor and there is nothing stopping them from working their way up the ladder. What’s going on?
Often, this gap is explained by saying the poor are just making excuses, but the truth is that society really has made systems to persecute those in poverty. These systems seem so spiteful to those at their mercy, but really they are just systems which formed by those in power not paying attention. In order to repair them, we have to wake-up and act with purpose.
The Cliff Effect
The Cliff Effect is a phenomenon that occurs in varying degrees from state-to-state, but basically it is a system of persecution which punishes those in poverty for trying to work to improve their lives. See the video below for an explanation:
Those We Don’t Help On Purpose, We Harm On Accident
This is just one example of how we create systems of persecution when we aren’t paying attention. Our ideological, political, and religious dialog is so polarized and fantastic that we never see problems as they are really are: problems to be solved. Because of this, legislation and laws are not passed with an understanding of what people need, just what sounded good.
I have come to discover that most, if not all, of the hurdles which those in poverty face on a daily basis are only there because no one cared to fix them. Little things like poor bureaucratic processes, unrealistic requirements and guidelines for social programs, and lack of public awareness and education of available resources.
We Could Do More Good If We Thought Like Engineers and Not Politicians
We care too much about deciding who in poverty “deserves” our help. EVERYONE deserves our help. The goal of a righteous society is not to judge its citizens, but to responsibly and competently structure itself so that each rung of the ladder is reachable from the previous one. We can’t pull people up for themselves, but we can make sure the next step is always in their reach. Next time politicians ask “Is it right to do this or that for the poor?” we should only say, “I don’t know, what do they need? Let’s find out.”
What steps do you think we can realistically make to go about bringing change in this area? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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