Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Handing Out Love

There are two types of poverty. The hard poverty is the structural societal community barriers that hold people back. The hard poverty revolves around mental health and inner worth. There is also easy poverty. Easy poverty is the stuff that can be solved by throwing money at the problem. I have never met a person who is a self-made success. It doesn't happen. We all received 'hand-outs'. If you don't believe me, spend one hour with a friend with a child aged less than about three. 

These little emperors regularly treat their parents like absolute rubbish. Completely anti-social, entitled, nasty aggression. It is not an exchange. There are moments of joy that make it seem worth it. Seem is the operative word. Any rational person would not become a parent. It is not a rational decision. It is about survival. The love exchanged is not a measurable thing. It is the best example I have seen of someone putting aside their ego in order to give unconditionally. The love received is a hand out. It is incomparable. It is its own beautiful, precious, priceless piece of magic.

A friend of mine who is a new parent has started regularly phoning his parents. His new found appreciation for their love came from seeing how little he got in return for the sleepless nights, financial support, emotional support, lessons given. Another friend got upset that he didn't get enough of the magic moments because the time he spent with his kid had so much 'admin of life' that the joy was being sucked out of it. He spends so much time cleaning, organising, caring, and doing that he is tired when the opportunity for those moments come.

If you are a success, if you are even okay, it is largely because of mountains of time and unconditional love you have received from parents, mentors, friends, family, and your community. Figuring out how to level the playing fields is impossible. How we got to the starting blocks has a long history of people screwing each other over. War. Prejudice. Game of Thrones. Nepotism. Corruption. It is impossible to disentangle privilege from meritocracy

One of the most powerful methods of sorting this out I have heard of ends 'easy poverty' directly.  “I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income.” Martin Luther King Jnr. 

'Hard poverty' requires the difficult work of building communities. It requires philosophy, psychology, emotional intelligence and getting better at listening. Some of the hard poverty exists in people who point to entitlement without recognising their privilege. Solving some easy poverty requires solving the hard poverty of the wealthy.

End Easy Poverty Directly - Build Community to end Hard Poverty
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