Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is poverty?

My buddy in Memphis, Justin, sent me this link from YouTube.

The title, "What is poverty?"

The answer will surprise many.

The answer stands at the heart of what we have learned here in Dallas over the past almost 15 years.

What makes people poor?

Consider your answer before you watch.

I'd love to hear what you think, especially in light of your own experiences.



Justin said...

From Memphis originally, but been living in Nashville for about 5 years now. But not important compared to the video.

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful and well done. However, I'm not sure poverty is about not having friends. I've certainly known poor folks who have friends. It's not having any friends with resources. If your friends are just as poor as you are, they can't feed you or house you for long and have no network to help get you a job. This is
implicit in the challenge toward the end about befriending someone in poverty who then won't be impoverished because you can help them in times of need. But it's kind of subtle. It certainly does make the point that poverty is about the types of relationships you have and who they are with as much as it is about a lack of material things. As I said, very thoughtful and well done.

Adam said...

Great video, Larry. Thanks for pointing it out. Also, thank you for your encouragement. I love CDM and it's work in so many lives. Thank you for your leadership!

Chris said...

If Obama is elected the poor will not have to depend on friends. In the audio played over and over yesterday, Obama laments on the flawed Constitution that did not provide for the redistribution of wealth. I'm sure he will try to change it

Anonymous said...

It's a sweet video, but I would have liked to have seen different questions:

Not, "How long before a friend would give you food?" but, "How long would they continue to feed you?"

Not, "How long to find a place to stay?" but, "How long would they let you stay?"

Not, "How long to find work?" but, "How long to find work when you are frozen by depression and afraid to answer the telephone, or when you've suffered a stroke and can't walk on you own and your words are slurred, or you are addicited to drugs or alcohol?"

I have friends who would help, but I doubt very much that they could help me through a real difficult. Family might, as much as they were able.

But it's a mistake to think that those who are homeless didn't have friends. Usually they did, and their friends helped. Sometimes beyond all measure. But at some point even the most devoted friend will grow tired of the burden.

linus said...

Yes, "redistribution of wealth." We're going to take our money back. Money that for too long has been taken away from the working class and given to CEOs.

Brandon Scott said...

Just stopping by to show some blog love. Keep doing what you're doing. Keep challenging us. Keep speaking the truth...for your prespective is far different than most of ours could ever be until we join you in the trenches. You're still one of my all time heroes!

Ramblin' Red said...

Haven't watched the video yet (youtube is disabled at work) but just wanted to share a quote I love on what poverty is:
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless.
The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.
We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. --Mother Teresa

Larry James said...

Thanks for the comments. The video doesn't tell the whole story, only one very important, basic, human part of it.

Brandon Scott, thanks my brother. Back at you with the love and props!