06 March 2006

Poverty

Ok, I know, two posts in one day, nay two posts in the same hour. It's getting extravagent isn't it. But I couldn't add this to the last post. I did my taxes yesterday. A couple of very interesting things to note from the process. In the past year, I just over three times what I have earned in any given year previously. That makes me feel pretty good. Way to go Dave.

But then I take a look at what I earned, and I still have to realize that I continue to live below the poverty line. That does have me concerned, I've got a family to support. And yet I work hard, put in more than required hours, but still...

I start thinking that is this all that I am worth? My work, my abilities, my efforts, is this really all that I am worth? Now I know that's not true, but those questions come day after day. I wonder when I will be able to find the place where I can earn my keep, fairly.

At the same time, I realize that things and money will never make you happy. That fulfillment does not depend on my financial situation. That I am not useless when I don't have cash. In fact I may be most useful in this state. And so comes the conflict. Do I embrace poverty, or do I take every opportunity to scratch and claw my way out of it? For the sake of my children, I am drawn one way. For the sake of my soul I'm drawn another.

And once more, the term moderation comes to mind. Anyone have any words of wisdom?

ps - I need to qualify this, I have lived in poverty since I moved out of my parent's house. For as long as I have been on my own I have not been good at making money. Not at any fault of my family. The fault is all mine.

6 comments:

the significant other said...

I have to comment on this one, even if puts you in a weird place, this coming from the significant other.
My thoughts on the matter then. I think if there is a need to break out of anything it's the mentality. I don't think we are poor. It's all the matter of who you compare yourself against. I also think that we should always strive to provide our kids with the best we can, so yes, claw your way into whatever you can to provide. But I also must say it, be it as cliche as it is, your soul should be well with our without money. And one last thing. what exactly is your fault?

Dave said...

Like I said before, I have to be very careful here, the significant other is watching. I agree with what you've said. But as simple as we try to make it, it always seems to get complicated. And in regards what's my fault, not chosing a path for my life that leads into money, that's my fault.

Dawn said...

I do agree with what you are saying, somewhat. My personal opinion is that you are worth so much more than you allow yourself to believe. I think you are a dedicated and skilled worker that any company would be blessed to have on their team.
On that same note, I know there are men out in the world that have truckloads of money and yet are impoverished because they do not hold the admiration of an amazing woman as you do. Your significant other is right - you are only poor if that is your mindset, but there is nothing wrong with trying to move ahead for the sake of your children. Very noble.

Dave said...

Thanks Dawn, I suppose the issue I've been trying to work through is just that, my mindset. But it would still be nice to get rewarded for my effort and skill. But then there's also the fact that I want to give my family much more than I can. You're right, I've got a great significant other, and amazing one in fact. She deserves much better than what I can offer her at the moment, even though I know that statement is wrong. I can offer her all of myself irrespective of money. But I feel like I need to give her more, because she is so good to me. And the same goes for my kids, I want to be able to bless them more than I can right now because of financial limits. Even though I don't need money to bless them, I feel the need for more. It's hard to explain, but that's some of what I feel.

Garth said...

A wise man we both know told me that every consecutive job he has taken has paid less than the one before - especially when taking inflation into consideration. That man is Chuck Nichols and ironically it has been my story thus far as well. I come from upper middle class roots but my income is at the lower end of middle class these days. We are fortunate in what God has blessed us with but I too find it frustrating working within the contraints of a budget and confines of my current paycheck. In fact, many of my students end up in higher paying jobs as youth pastors than I do as a prof! But when it comes down to it - I love teaching, I love what I do - it isn't my dream job but elements of it are. I'm not sure if that fits your discussion but I think contentment in life will never be found in a dollar amount - it is found in what we do and who we are! Hopefully those two match up. And the other end of it is - we are all way above the poverty of Africa or Asia but it sucks not being the providers we would like to be for our families.

Dave said...

That's so very true Garth. I agree with what you said about contentment. It seems funny, but the best definition I've heard for contentment comes from Sheryl Crow "It's not gettting what you want, it's wanting what you've got."

Like I alluded to earlier, I'm not complaining, except in that I want to provide more for my family.

BTW, how is Chuck doing these days?