Poverty is a state of mind. I’m not rich by society’s standards, but I’m wealthy in my spirit. I work hard to acquire things I like or want. I think we are as rich or poor as we think we are.
By no means do I want to disrespect anybody who struggles to keep a roof over the heads, provide for their children’s health and safety, or must choose between paying for food, rent, and medical bills. I am speaking from the “I.” For my own wellness and recovery, I see myself as wealthy, even though I’m not yet.
Even when I was living a heroin addiction life style, I never considered my life poor or impoverished. I was taught that being a McShan is important, and poverty is a state of mind.
Poverty Is A State of Mind; I Used to Have Nothing
I might not live in the best neighborhood or drive a Bentley. I may not own a mink coat. But I have a roof over my head, a comfortable welcoming home, filled with nice things, a closet full of clothes — some from thrift stores, some from exclusive, expensive stores.
I may never be invited to a White House party, but I go to conferences and gatherings I feel are just important.
I live on a limited income, in subsidized Section 8 housing, but I know how it is to be homeless, because I once was. Also I know how it feels to get out of prison with $200, and no housing, praying I get a hotel voucher for a month, hoping I can get general assistance and Food Stamps. Poverty is a state of mind, and after that, I don’t feel poor.
From Nothing to Something to Nearly Enough
I learned how to access resources in my community. From living in homeless hotels, I started working there for room and money. I volunteered to lead groups at homeless shelters. They paid me to to run their clothing closet. I was grateful, but I knew I was not going to stay where I was.
Though I’m low income, and the government defines me as living in proverty, poverty is a state of mind.
I must tell myself I am going to have the life I see for myself, just as I am walking today without a wheelchair, brace, or cane though the doctors told me I would never walk again without support. I said I would walk out of the hospital, and not be wheeled out. I did after five months in 2000, though though it hurt like hell.
But I did it.
I used a wheelchair, brace, cane , and physical therapy for almost two years, but today I use nothing, not even pain medication or alcohol, just something for a headache occasionally.
Living in America we should have health care for everyone
I Won’t Always Be Poor
I intend to be better off than I am today, a business owner and homeowner. I’m working toward getting my BA degree. Before I graduate, I will become a homeowner through Section 8, federal subsidized housing program.
Others may say I’m crazy, but I don’t care what others say about Yvette. It’s what I say about me that matters.
By the standards of the country I live in, my status is poor, but I refused to own that for Yvette McShan.
Poor People Must Organize to Change The Nation
No one in America should be subjected to a life in proverty but until we who are living in proverty start voting — making our city, county, state, elected officals accountable — we will continually get what they want us to have: Nothing. just complaining among ourselves.
But the Victorious Black Woman is going to be that change. ” That’s A Promise” or I will die trying,
If poverty is a state of mind, how rich or poor are you?