Saturday, October 07, 2006

No Pride in Poverty

Contrary to the photos that you'll see at the end of this article, I actually do live in a decent neighborhood where you can leave your door open overnight, and wake up in the morning with everything you had when you went to bed.

Lately, I've been under the impression that I make a decent living (although I'd like to make a better one....as we all would) considering all the extras that I have..i.e, computer, my own apt, my own car, digital cameras and innumerous unecessary toys that I've been led to believe I can't live without, but when I see people who are generally in my same situation struggling, it kinda puts things into perspective. It really seems petty to me when you're complaining about not having the fanciest car, or the latest cell phone or iPod while your next door neighbors are struggling to make sure their kids have a solid meal to eat.

I decided to spend an hour in my front yard to play with my new camera (go figure) and take random photos of what I call life. What I was able to capture in 'my own back yard' was disheartening as well as eye opening. I was able to take a few photos of my neighbor and his family as they worked together to prepare their work truck for another haul. As far as I can tell, he's a salvager. He takes old appliances and electronics, and rebuilds them for resale. It turns out that he's actually very good at what he does. My brother purchased a vaccum cleaner from him for $25 over two years ago, and it still works to this day, with no problems (except us being too lazy to change the bag...go figure).

I also caught a photo of this young Asian lady who visits my neighborhood for her daily recycling. She can't be much older than 23 years old, which further proves the title of "No Pride in Poverty". I don't think I've ever met anyone in that age group that wasn't too proud to walk the streets and rifle through trash dumpsters to look for plastics. I do understand that California is slowly becoming a 3rd-World Country, but with all the glamour and glitz in Hollywood and the other surrounding cities, you'd think she would be a little embarrassed to push her cart through the street. My hats' off to her.

I have much respect for those who bite the bullet and push their pride aside in order to survive. You've got to try to image what walking the streets with a shopping cart, and rifleing through trash cans does to you. I'm not anti-California, and I'm not going to give up what I've earned to bond with the "common-man" to see life as they live it, but I can never look at someone who's living a hard life as someone beneath me. In some instances, they are above me, cause I don't think I'm built to walk to streets to stay alive.

As sad as it is for me to see people experiencing financial hardships, it still doesn't stop my motivation. It actually adds to it. I refuse to let myself end up in their situations. I know that sometimes things like this are totally out of your control, but as long as I have two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes, two ears and two feet (knock on wood), I will NEVER live like this. There's no pride in poverty, but there's a lot of pride in me, and that's what keeps my wheels spinning every day of the week.

I'm not writing this article to lead you to believe that you should be ashamed of your good living, but I do hope that you realize and recognize that this could be any one of us at any given point in our lives. Who knows what type of lifestyle they all came from? I've met lots of people who were millionairs now living in their cars. Although there's no pride in poverty, having to live in your car after you've "had it all" has to hit you in the heart. It takes a real strong man and woman to keep their heads up when all else around you has fallen.

I am very thankful for the life that I am living, and I will continue to push to make it better. There's is nothing that can get in my way to stop me from becoming a success, no matter what path I choose. I just hope that I can help all of you see what see through my writings, as well as through my photos. Please have some pride in yourselves and try not to disrespect those who are less fortunate around you.

(You can see the photos for this article HERE!)


Blogger BullBunky said...

Nice photos over on Everyblink.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous A.Roberson said...

Thanks. I appreciate the support and recognition. It's keeps me moving ;-)

2:26 PM  
Anonymous crrear45@aol.com said...

keep up the good work it's very interesting

5:47 PM  
Anonymous A.Roberson said...

Thank you for the support! I'll keep writing as long as you enjoy it ;-)

6:21 PM  

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