Monday, August 13, 2012

Poverty is not just about money

Approximately 60 percent of U.S. children living in mother-only families are impoverished, compared with only 11 percent in two-parent family homes, according to research at the university of Ohio. I watched my sister deal with this very problem as she raised her kids, put herself through college, and then struggled on a beginning teacher salary. However, poverty due to income, while it can make day to day existence difficult, poverty of joy and intellect can destroy lives. Poverty does not just apply to income. When any of us, children and adults alike, are deprived of love and kindness, as well as intellectual stimulation, our lives become narrow and dark. Divorce can make the walls seem like they are closing around us, but refusing to narrow our world and staying in the light, can make the difference. And this doesn't just apply to divorce. Anyone is in danger of poverty of spirit by closing themselves off from others or from learning. If you are a single parent, bitterness and anger will definitely narrow your world, but most in danger is the world of your children. Allow them to freely love their other parent and his/her family. Love goes a long way in keeping the spirit nourished and joyful. As for the intellect? Avoid allowing the television, computer, and video games to raise your kids. Get out of the house. Take advantage of free activities available in the community. Read together. Hike. Do chores together. Travel if possible and expose yourself and the children to new ideas. And let others assist in positive ways, including even a stepmom or stepfather. And if new siblings or step-siblings come on the scene, be sure to include them when possible. Poverty of money makes life difficult for the moment, but poverty of the mind and spirit makes all of life a struggle.

Peace and Joy!

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