Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Overcoming a culture of poverty

Published:Tuesday | January 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:
There is a significant difference between being poor and actually living in poverty.

One notable disparity is that poverty is, unfortunately, a culture which so many of us inherited from birth, mainly because we are born into heartbreakingly poor families, with lack of education and low skills.

Often times, even though both parents work full-time they are still unable to earn enough money to support their families, due to their lack of skills.

For others, poverty may have been the result of being born into a particular social structure defined by one's race, class, or demography.

The culture of poverty is almost impossible to overcome and, therefore, can influence one's thinking, to the point where, unless there is an intervention to stop the cycle, several generations will continue to be trapped in poverty.

But we can break the chain. Irrespective of this generational trap, by taking initiatives to change our mindset from hopelessness to hope.

All of us have hidden talents. Therefore, what if we get creative and tap into our untapped talents instead of living for the moment? We could probably open up our lives to a different perspective for a brighter future.

So as we embrace year 2015, let us tackle this socio-economic dilemma by ensuring that everyone has equal access to life's basic necessities. For example, health care, affordable housing, support for adult-literacy programmes, job skills, jobs that pay living wages, and ensure all children get an education. Parents must also do their part by teaching their children the importance of education, perseverance, and hard work towards one's goal.

N.D.