Saturday, 3 April 2010

Thoughts on poverty

I watched "The Blind Side" tonight. Good movie! But it got me thinking (yes, it's quite possible that I think to much) about how it kind of mirrors life up here. Now, I don't want to offend anyone, and I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, so please understand it's simply my opinion.
Seeing the kind of homes kids in "the projects" grow up in. How survival is the key, and how hard it can be to rise above your circumstances. I see that here in the Inuit kids, I see it in the way the Native kids on reserves get raised, I see it in the inner cities and in the immigrant communities. There are a lot of differences, but right now I'm thinking of the similarities. And I know there are a lot of northern or inner-city families that don't fit this stereotype at all. What I'm talking about is the poor, the ghettos, the ones that are in that rut that's almost impossible to get out of.
I see the tiny house where everyone sleeps in one room, or where 10 people share a one-bedroom house. And that seems to be a universal theme in poverty. You make do to find shelter. It doesn't matter how many are in a small space, so long as your family has somewhere to lay their heads.
I see school not being important. And that's such a difficult issue, because if you don't have money to support yourself or your family, you drop out to get a job and buy food now, if you wait for the long-term you might starve. Plus, when your parents and grandparents never finished school, why should you? If there's no one to push a child to finish their education, not all of them care enough to try and graduate. It's a perpetuating cycle.
I... don't really want to go on. It's really the poverty, and the cycle they're stuck in that got me. Made me wonder what we can do for the people here. There are so many with so much potential. And yet, 50% of high school students graduating is considered a high number. And there are so many houses crammed to the brim with people. The number of teen moms is astronomical, and most are encouraged to have babies at that age.
It really doesn't matter who you blame for the root causes. The fact is that there is no way to move up from here unless people choose it, and it's not always their choice to make.

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