Poor or not? The visible poverty and invisible poverty perspective 1/2

Invisble poverty and visible poverty *Canva image

Visible poverty.

They said, there is poverty and extreme poverty. There is also visible and invisible poverty; the very types of poverty we missed in our biased definitions. Visible and invisible poverty show up even among a group of people living above twenty dollars a day, in a better nation. Both ask the populace to address. The populace chooses what’s visible to make much of us including millionaires among us, poor.

Looking for the second article? Poor or not? The visible poverty and invisible poverty perspective. 2/2

You can’t help but take me as a fellow in destitution when I show up at the school you’re learning armed with the least essentials, dressed like the corner of the street is my home. I am poor in that case because I am badly dressed when I am supposed to be up on the same level as the other kids.

One can’t help but argue that I am poor when I show up as a student at the school he is learning when I am with the least essentials. I am obviously poor because I am badly dressed, or when my father shows up at the same schools looking less than a decent parent.

That is poverty because it is seen in the eyes, and it is nothing about the reasoning that let it be poverty to them, it is visible poverty. Sometimes that one can be a visible shortage of resources. But shortage is not unavailability as delay is not “never happening”.

Visible poverty is what peers see when it is on one and they put pressure on what they see, detest what they see. That pressure is an education, bad education, that seeps into the target to become one of the things that get the target to ignore either real wealth or real happiness.

I remember well a day I raised my hand to explain a point on an issue that was baffling the class thinking that the teacher would allow me to explain it in my seat.  When he said I should come forwards to explain it I ‘resisted’, “ I don’t have a thing to say. My apologies.”

He walked to my desk to deliver the punishment, the beating. That was better than me walking to the front of the room and explain my point, or worse write it on the chalkboard with one hand whilst another kept my shorts from falling.

The waist had just gone nuts thirty minutes ago and I was to remain seated until five PM, leave the class unnoticed and head to my room. A single pair of shorts were all that characterised my school uniform wardrobe in the first seven months as a first-year secondary school student.

Because we all want to look good that background cannot dilute the bad education in my future. I will still find myself determined to be at a certain place and stage where my dressing stands above all despite the costs. Because:

  • The level of visible poverty keeps going up
  • Once in my life (Feb-Sept 2009) it was a $10 school uniform we could quickly afford as a family
  • Ten years later (2019) it was attending someone’s wedding without a suit, at least a $75 suit. And buying it would have resulted in fifteen percent of my annual income decimated.
  • In the future it will not be owning a the best vehicle that will be my sense of pride. I will ride in a single car worth graduates and a lot of tuition fees to pay at a local university.

It’s a race. To look more and more good, not really to feel good. Yet happiness is in feeling good.

Addressing visible poverty and forgetting the invisible is curing a wound by not curing it. In fact, some notable success stories at a personal level may have resulted from being the opposite, invisible-centric.

Partly, it is being visible-centric that resulted in much of the traditionally disadvantaged parts of our global populace in being wasteful. We are wasteful in Africa, in the black ghettos in the USA and the Caribbean and in Asia, and also in traditionally well-to-do parts of us.

The lack of patience we have is shocking. Ours is a world where the lust to have our needs in our hands eats into our reasoning.

Why the race?

  • We want to look good. Far invincible than others.
  • Our world is one of competition not cooperation or both.
  • We are taught formally and informally to compete. It’s about who get better grades and higher numbers of anything at the moment.
  • It satifies to look good. But we don’t rest once we look good. On that department of looking good that where we want things to be better and better at a cost of other meaningful things in our lives, that we simply allow to be worse and worse.
  • We are in a world where the lust to have our needs in our hands eat our reasoning away.