My Response to “What is Poverty?”

When I read the essay “What is Poverty?” by Jo Goodwin Parker, I felt it very convincing. It led me to think about those poor people who I encounter in my daily life. One incident that I still reminisce is that when I was passing through the streets in my home country, I saw a group of children who were dressed poorly, barefooted and looked undernourished. They were carrying a big plastic bag and picking out bottles and metal cans from the pool of garbage. At first, I did not know why they were collecting that wastage so passionately. I evasively walked beside and didn’t bother them simply because they looked filthy and ignorant. Later, when I asked my parents about those street children and their activities, they told me that those children collect things to earn their living. They gather plastic and metal wastes, sell it to the recycle companies and get paid for selling those waste items. They have no option then to do such filthy work.

In the essay, the speaker describes how the poor people are and how hard their life is. They have the stigma that they are not accepted to the society because they do not match the society. However, it’s not their fault. The poor are always striving for better health and education opportunities. The problem is that whenever they try to get rid of one problem, they are pushed back by another obstacle and the cycle of poverty continues. Moreover, the speaker discusses the struggle and hard labor that poor people have to do in order to get a one-time meal, which made me think back to those street children who have to coerce themselves in such unpleasant work for their living. Again, these results to some gruesome consequences such as these children will be the victim of drug addiction.  Due to lack of health and education facilities, the mental, physical and social health of these children gets impaired. In most cases, poor people become bound to illegal activities such as theft, robbery and even murder. Eventually, they may become a menace to society.

Therefore, instead of only being indignant about the matter, we should follow Parker’s suggestions to raise our voices on behalf of the poor people and endeavor to solve these problems rationally and practically.

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