A young couple is checking out in front of me at the grocery store. It's late in the evening, I've had a challenging day at work, and I'm ready to be home. I'm dutifully perusing all of the last minute temptations they place in the checkout line when I realize that the couple is having an issue paying. Their card has been declined. I start paying a bit more attention when voices begin sounding strained and upset. I'm on alert for danger, a byproduct of this world we live in. Suddenly, I realize that they are paying with a welfare card and something in their over-flowing cart is not approved. They have separated their things, they know what they can and cannot purchase, and they are frustrated by this delay.

It's a $10 dollar difference. My first reaction is to offer to pay for the item, but the tension is high, and I instinctively realize that they don't need any more people involved in the situation. The cashier begins to get flustered and embarrassed, obviously wanting the transaction to be just be finished. The couple looks only at the cashier, but they don’t give any of the “I'm so sorry about this,” looks that you get when you have an item with no bar-code that slows down a line. Their look says, “Do something about this. Now.” They are adamant that everything is approved.

Soon a manager comes and helps the cashier resolve the issue. I can't tell if she understands what went wrong, or if she just understood the situation needed resolved, but in either case, she quickly completes the transaction and the couple leaves. She tells the cashier to take a break.

I'm quickly checked out and on my way as well. As I leave I pass by the cashier, and she is crying as she explains to a co-worker that she did the best she could. I stop and tell her she handled the situation very well, it was just a bit embarrassing for everyone, and that is why there was tension. It wasn't the cashier’s fault that things went awry. I drive home thinking about all that I have learned in my research on this topic and the wealth of dynamics that are at play in all of our lives.

The next day, I see yet another post on Facebook decrying the maddening experience of being in line behind someone on welfare buying better food than you do, and walking out only to see them get into a nicer car than you have. Almost instinctively, I wondered what kind of car that couple was driving…and then I wonder why I'm even thinking of it.

I figured it out. I'm prejudiced against welfare recipients. White, black, old, young–it matters not. Instead of being filled with compassion, I'm more likely to ask, “Why?” Why do you need welfare? You look fine to me. Looks like you made it to the store; did you drive? If you need welfare, how can you afford a car? I wonder how nice your car is.

I'm so mortified. Here I am writing a series on poverty, and I'm prejudiced against my subject. Really? I want to find a softer word, something that doesn't carry as much weight as the word 'prejudice', but if the word fits…

How do we land in this place of prejudice and suspicion so very easily? Because, that's the easy response. Righteous indignation feels so good. Nothing can pump you up like smug superiority. And rarely do you get a chance to feel so justified as you do with welfare recipients.

I am so ashamed, but sometimes, I am also right. There really are some people that purposely de-fraud the system. Shame on them, right? It's ok to be angered by this abuse, right?

No, not right. It is all lack. It is all brokenness. Whether you lack ethics or money, you are still facing poverty. You are still experiencing a broken relationship.

I don't think God differentiates our lack. When He sees a person abusing the welfare system, He weeps. He knows that it's fraud, and His heart breaks for the people who are committing it. When He sees me silently judging them, He weeps as well. He knows that I'm a fraud, and His heart breaks for me.

God wants us all to be restored to Him. God wants all of our lack to be addressed. But until we can humble ourselves to the point that we recognize our own poverty, we will never be able to help others out of theirs.

I write this tonight because I'm going to move us from the discussion of what causes poverty and begin talking about what actions we can take to help. But one thing has become crystal clear to me in my research unless we can acknowledge our own poverty, we cannot help.

I don't subscribe to a 'victim' mentality, but I do subscribe to reality. The reality is that most poor people lack the resources required to escape their current situation. It is complex, and it varies from person to person, but some combination of the following contributes to their particular situation:

Lack of self-respect – If you have never been treated as a person of value, you will have trouble believing that you are valuable.

Lack of respect for others – If you do not respect yourself, you cannot respect others.

Inability to see a brighter future – If your perspective is limited to your upbringing and it was in a state of lack, then you cannot imagine that which you do not know.

Lack of available jobs – Our economy has shifted dramatically, and there are simply far fewer entry level positions.

Inability to manage money – If you were never taught how to budget and you live with nothing, then when you do finally get money, it's hard to not treat yourself or your family to unnecessary things and experiences.

Lack of education – Poor neighborhoods have poor schools. Poor parents either cannot show their children that education is to be valued because they are too busy trying to survive, or they are uneducated themselves and do not know the value.

Inadequate nutrition – Physically, your diet will impact your ability to learn and function.

Inadequate sleep – Likewise, sleep deprivation will impact your ability to learn and function.

Too much stress – The effects of chronic long term stress can lead to the inability to form heathy relationships, lower reading scores, significant memory loss, and much more.

Some combination of these things contribute to every individual‘s poverty to some extent, including my own. We have to acknowledge the reality that people will not be able to pick themselves up by their bootstraps if they do not own boots.

So, we are going to move forward next week, we are going to start talking about how we can DO something about the poverty in our own lives, and the poverty in our world. But I thought it was important to at first be honest and admit that I have some poverty within myself that is being drawn out by God as I research this topic.

And just to clarify – I find this all very challenging. I would much rather sit in my righteous anger and judgment. I'm not leading anyone, anywhere. I'm begrudgingly being led right along with you.

So, let me hear from you? Where did this hit you? Are you mad that I'm a fraud? Did you see some prejudice in yourself, too? What does it feel like for you to see that?

 

Hello.

In lieu of a big post in the poverty series tonight, I want to make a couple recommendations.

I encourage you to check out this amazing Ted talk by Chimamanda Adichie. Try to keep a focus on poverty in mind as you listen to Ms. Adichie talk about the power of making decisions based on a single story. I found it challenging and enlightening.

How many people, or groups of people, do we think we know based on a single story?

Also, if you ever have thought about going on a short term mission, or working with people in poverty local to you, I highly recommend reading this book:

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself

This was recommended by a reader, Kristi Smalley, and I am so thankful! What an eye opening read this has been. I've talked about this book before, but I really want to encourage anyone who is serious about working with the poor to take the time to read this book. The authors have done their homework and have actionable suggestions. I plan to use this as a guide as we move forward, especially when we move into the action portion of our series and start talking about what we can do as individuals to address the issue of poverty.

I hope you are having a great week. A new post will be out in the next week for our poverty series. In the mean time, I'll keep posting the smaller mid week posts. I'm enjoying talking with you all more often and I appreciate the engagement and comments!

As always, I encourage you to sign up to follow the blog. Not all posts will make it to your facebook wall, so that's the best way to get a notice of any new posts. If I can get to 50 followers I will give away two copies of the “When Helping Hurts” book in a random drawing from the subscribers!!

Also, a quick update on the birthday give-away. I have three beautiful families all signed up (I couldn't pick one so I picked them all!), and a gorgeous Senior. I would like to find one more Senior – so if you know anyone who just can't afford the expense of Senior piks – shoot me a message @ jgaustin@me.com. For the families – I will be in touch soon! Spring is springing (Finally, well, I am in Georgia right now, so I can just say, it's coming. I think a low of 32 is in store at home…)

Have a great week!

 

Despite plentiful food, there are those who go hungry.

Despite free education, there are those who are uneducated.

Despite resources to help, there are those who go unhelped.

Despite large government investments, the problem remains. The poor remain, despite all of our programs and efforts to end poverty. What is it that makes this acceptable? Where is our outrage?

The following graph outlines the estimated spending in 2013 for various governmental programs. Welfare, which in this graph includes unemployment, accounts for 11.77% of the budget. While definitions vary, it would appears that actually about 5.5% of the budget goes toward what we traditionally think of as ‘welfare programs.’ This excludes a program like unemployment which requires someone pay into the program to benefit from it.

Fy2009spendingbycategory2

 

Our government spends a lot of money to fight poverty, but not as much as I would have guessed. I would have guessed at least 10% went to direct welfare programs. About double what we actually spend.

While this graph shows our modern-day approach to spending money to address the issue of the poor, as far back as the 1600s, societies were working to find a way to address this very same problem.

Did you know that the Elizabethan Poor Laws that were put in place in the 1600’s were a result of the decline of charitable monasteries? Before then, the church had been the provider of support and assistance to the poor, but as the Christian reform movement swept through, the monasteries began to change, and caring for the poor transitioned to the government for the first time in our history. According to The Victorian Web, during the reign of Elizabeth I a spate of legislation was written to address raising money for and administering relief to the poor. You can read more at www.victorianweb.org/history/poorlaw/elizpl.html

These Elizabethan Poor Laws eventually became the British Poor Laws that were brought over to the United States with the first settlers. These laws were in place until the Great Depression when many of our modern day programs were put in place.

I found this fascinating – first that the poor laws went back so far in our history. I typically stop at the Great Depression. Secondly it was interesting to learn about the issues that they faced from the very beginning. The issue of dealing with people who were capable of working, but refused to do so, was an issue from the very beginning.

So, for more than 413 years we have struggled with what to do with people who would rather abuse the system than find gainful employment. Interesting.

We probably aren’t going to find a government program to solve for that—you know, if we haven’t by now.

This led me online to look for interesting solutions that are being used today or have been tried in the past. We will look into some of the ideas that are out there in another post. We can’t tonight though because my research ended up leading me down a different path. God’s tricky like that.

I think the internet is one of the most horrifying areas to do research, because of all the mean people you bump into in the comment sections. Really. mean. people. It is horribly disheartening.

To be frank, after reading through a few blogs on the welfare systems and hearing first hand from some of the ‘righteous’ and some of the ‘abusers,’ I just wanted to write a, “Never mind, I quit,” post and tell you guys cute stories about my kids. (I HEAR many of you saying, YES!) Sorry, I’m not going to do it.

I can’t do that because figuring out how to help other people is critically important. And letting the small mindedness of the internet sway me seems a bit too easy. Distraction is an evil thing. We are going to continue down this road.

Those of you who share my faith recently celebrated Easter – the death and resurrection of Jesus. And, I tell you, Jesus thought caring for the poor was very important.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me” (Matt. 25:35-36)

“If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him—how can God’s love reside in him?” (1 John 3:17)

“How can God’s love reside in Him?” That hurts. I know poverty seems too big to fix, and too exhausting, and too maddening. I truly know, but we must try. We must try because it is the right thing to do.

Here is what it feels like to write about this – and maybe it feels like this to read it, too. It is like my brain is a steel trap that has been shut for a very, very long time. Within that trap are all of my strongly held beliefs. In order for anyone, including myself, to change any of those beliefs, means that I have to pry that steel trap open, and then hold it open the whole entire time that I am researching and writing. Then, I finish, and when I wake up the next day, I find that my natural inclination is to go right back to my old way of thinking.

SNAP. The trap shuts down.

The good news is that with each passing week, the steel trap is ever so slightly less difficult to open. Still ridiculously difficult, but slightly less so than before.

God keeps putting these things on my mind and in my heart, and I’m just going to keep writing about them. I don’t feel like I have much of a choice, because of all nights, tonight, I would just quit if I could.

The problem of poverty is a problem of relationships. The way to fix the problem of poverty is with relationships. The abusers of the system are easy to spot, label, and judge. The abuse that comes out of our hearts is hard to see, difficult to label, and we don’t often judge ourselves very harshly. We are them. I am beginning to believe that anytime you complain about a faceless people: the abusers, the users, the immigrants, the lazy… the issue, my friend, is you. Because complaining is not action, no matter how passionately we complain. Never once, did God call us to complain about a problem. Never.  And he didn’t call us to petition our government.  Our God is a God of action – and he called us to action.

And I only have the courage to say that you are the issue because I fully acknowledge that the issue is me, too.

We cannot change a government program that’s been broken for 500 years.

We cannot change a person whose choices we disagree with.

We can only change ourselves.

Until we stop looking to a nameless entity to deal with a faceless population, nothing will change.

The immigrants you want kicked out are people who have kids and dreams. The poor that you want to ignore are broken, tired, shamed, hurting. And the users who abuse the system? God’s child. All of them.

We cannot love God and hate people. And isn’t not helping just like hate? Isn’t it hate to leave the Samaritan by the side of the road? Isn’t that exactly what hate is? We may want to say it’s busyness that keeps us from helping. We may want to say it is frustration. But, the question is, what does it feel like to the person in need? Don’t you think to be left in a state of lack is to not feel love? How then, should we label the absence of love? We cannot love God and not help people. Can we? How can we?

I am just broken wide open tonight. Just broken and hurt and scared. This weight is so heavy. I have no choice but to lay it at the cross and walk away tonight. I want the steel trap in my mind to remain open, so I am eager to meet with you all, hear your ideas, listen to your challenges. I cannot bear this weight alone.

To be certain to see every post in our series, please sign up and follow All New People. This will ensure each post is delivered to your email. Facebook’s settings and algorithms change from time to time and you may not see these posts in your news feeds.

This is the second post in this series. Links to the prelude and week one are at the end of today’s post. Because of the immensity of the subject, no one single post is going to cover the entire subject, so I will continue posting links to the previous posts for those who join us later.

As always, please share this blog if you think it is a dialogue worth having. The more people who give their opinion – or even just think about these things – the more likely we are to make a difference.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.”
Matthew 25:36

I’d like to continue our dialogue on what it means to be poor and how we are meant to respond to the poor. But, before I write this week’s post I wanted to share some of my week. I have been talking to a number of people about this series, and I thought I would give you a cliff notes version of where my heart is and why this subject of poverty has struck such a chord in me.

I am writing about the poor and about what our responsibility is in regard to the poor in spite of my fear of putting these opinions out there for the world to see and judge. I am doing this because I believe that we have, as a society, given the government too much responsibility when it comes to caring for the poor.

I think by making this subject a policy discussion, we have made it much too easy to have an opinion but no action. It is too easy for us to lambast the welfare system, post Facebook pushes supporting drug testing, and feel like caring for the poor isn’t our responsibility.

I also believe taking a handout from the government is humiliating, and I think humiliation breeds contempt and cynicism. I believe that if we took back this responsibility from the government, both sides – the helpers and the helped – would benefit immensely.

For those reasons, I believe that one person helping another person and meeting that person exactly where his or her individual and unique needs are is far better than a faceless entity handing out the same assistance to a hurting population.

For this week, we are going to stick with the financial aspect of poverty. Based on the comments from last week’s post and some exchanges I’ve had via private message and conversation, there is much more to uncover. Today we are going to talk about personal responsibility, but not the kind most people think of when they think of poverty. We will get to that, but not yet.

Poor as defined by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:

Poor:

1
a : lacking material possessions
b : of, relating to, or characterized by poverty
2
a : less than adequate : meager
b : small in worth

Poverty:
a : the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions
b : renunciation as a member of a religious order of the right as an individual to own property
2
: Scarcity, Dearth
3
a : debility due to malnutrition
b : lack of fertility

When I first called on Facebook friends for definitions of the poor, I was amazed by the depth and breadth of definitions. You told me the poor were the homeless, the addicted, the imprisoned, the mentally or physically ill, the widowed, the abandoned. Those who are unemployed, underemployed, begging, searching, hurting, cheating, lonely, scared, mean, abused, abusive, and weary. Those who are lost. The poor are kids forced into a system outside their families because they lack unconditional love. The poor include people who are spiritually bereft, those who lack insurance, and those who lack documentation.

To be poor, at its core, is to lack. Doesn’t this mean that we are all poor at certain points in our life, or even throughout individual days? From one moment to the next we may cycle in and out of a state of lacking.

However, it was very eloquently pointed out last week that just because someone does not make a lot of money, it does not mean they are poor. I agree fully. It is entirely possible to be near financial poverty, but not to lack for anything. If one has chosen to work with the poor, in many cases he or she will not be financially well off. Our society tends to reward those who generate wealth with more wealth. But what about those positions that do not generate financial wealth? They often do not pay well. Our social workers, our firefighters, our police men and women, our teachers – the very people who are tasked with helping other people – are the ones most likely to be poorly compensated. They are also, it should be noted, financed by our government. Private institutions tend to pay higher salaries for these same skills.

So very quickly in the series I want to be clear that not having money does not automatically mean lack. But equally, if not more importantly, finding a way to be content in poverty, does not eliminate the responsibility to help. Contentment does not cover lack.

There are people in this world who have nothing and, although they realize their position, they want for nothing. They have learned to be content in their situation. They trust that they will be okay, one way or another. They know hunger and cold. They know fear, but within them is the ability to remain happy and content.

They are a joy to help, thankful, even grateful. They take what is given with a pure spirit of appreciation. It is a balm for both the giver and the receiver. The exchange seems kissed by God.

There are other people in this world who have nothing and want for everything. They are angry and mean. They have learned to trust no one and to take anything offered for there probably will be no more for a long while.

They are hard to help. They feel entitled. They take what is given and curse you for not giving more. It is a spirit crushing exchange for both the giver and the receiver. At the end you understand what it feels like to be God forsaken. You are depleted.

I am poor. Must I be righteous as well?

It is far more likely that a life of poverty and lack will result in someone who is not giving and not happy. The weariness of lack is far more likely to wear someone’s softer sides away and leave them with a protective shield of distrust. They may take without thanking. They may think, “It’s about time I got what I deserved.”

Someone who has gone hungry, who has watched their children go hungry in this bright and shiny land of opportunity, is probably pretty mad. It would be hard to watch people (well, such as me) with our gadgets, and Facebook pictures of vacations and trips, and our lack of lack, walk around and share space with their lack. It would be especially hard when the only help you have ever received has been from the government, and you know many people resent you even getting that.

Many do struggle with addiction. Many struggle with mental problems that make this world difficult, if not unbearable. No one ever sets a goal to be on welfare…wait – some do. Some abuse the system, play the system, work the system – for all it’s worth. Some think we are all chumps as they take and take and take.

I am poor. Must I be righteous as well?

Whether we admit it or not, we choose not to help because people are hard to help. Many are hard to be around and hard to help. The problem is too big. The issues are too complex. Throwing money at it won’t help, but engaging takes too much time.

Without realizing it, many of us have altered Christ’s urge to help those around us so that we remove ourselves from the direct responsibility. We may hear:

For I was hungry and you paid your taxes so the government could give Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you paid your government taxes to give Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you crossed the street to avoid me and hoped the police would take Me in; I was naked and you paid your taxes so the government would clothe Me; I was sick and you paid your taxes so Medicaid could took care of Me; I was in prison and you begrudged Me the cost and left me there….

Bu that’s not what He said. In His call to us to be compassionate, he cut out the middleman and placed the responsibility of caring for others squarely on our shoulders.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.”
Matthew 25:36

There are no qualifiers in this directive. We are not to feed those who are thankful, we are to feed those who are hungry. We are not to visit those in prison who are wrongly accused, we are to visit those in prison. We are not to take in people ‘like’ us, we are to take in strangers.

We have removed the personal relationship and our personal responsibility from the equation and now the equation no longer works. There is a problem to be solved here. We cannot give people sleeping pills and begrudge them their sleep. Systems are easier to abuse than people. If we take back control, if we put the relationship back into the exchange, if we start from a place of love and not a place of policy, only then can we awaken the hope that God places inside each of us – hope of a healthy and thriving life that adds value to society.

A reader recommended an incredible book: “When Helping Hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor… and yourself” by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert.

Their book is an in-depth and studied exam of this subject. If you, like me, find this issue of poverty and what to do about it tugging at your conscience, please go pick up a copy of this book.

Please join me in turning our hearts toward this complex problem. What’s your reaction to today’s discussion of the poor among us? What—if anything—do you think our individual responsibility is toward others? How do you respond to Christ’s words in Matthew 25:36? I welcome your comments as we delve deeper in our conversation.

(Please post your comments directly to the blog so all of the readers get a chance to hear the conversation – Thank you!)

Links to the previous posts in this series:
Week One: Prelude to the series on the poor…
Week Two: Why do most poor people tend to remain poor?

This is about my seventh run at this week’s blog post. I go between pondering esoteric philosophy and facts and back again. None of it is striking the right chord in me, so I’m going to try a little free association and see where we get.

I would typically identify as a Republican – though I have voted Democrat. I truly don’t connect with either party completely on any issue so that leaves me mainly as a standing member of the Dissatisfied Party. Based on what I’ve gathered from various reports, tweets, Facebook posts and water cooler conversations, the DP has the largest population base right now.

I guess I’m starting here because that is typically where we start policy discussions in America. We identify the other person’s party and then define how they feel based on the vitriol we hear spewed out by mainstream media. Depending on what popular 24 hour news channel you watch, you are edified daily on the ridiculous position of the other party and why they will destroy this fine country if we don’t take radical action to stop them.

The end result of this at a grass roots level is primarily political disengagement. Even those who are willing to engage in debate typically end up disenfranchised or disillusioned to the point of inertia.

For the purposes of this series – let’s jump over that pit of despair and not get bogged down in policy. Let’s talk about welfare, its history, and how we got to this point, but let’s start with a different approach than the political party-based one we may be all-too familiar with.

I don’t know if you have used Quora (www.quora.com), an amazing site where you can pose questions and get a wealth of opinions. I am using it as part of my research on this subject of poverty

One of the questions I found on Quora is: “Why do you think most poor people remain poor?”

It is this question that I want us to consider. I don’t want to get into another debate about the freeloaders in our system because there is no debate there. People abuse the system. I don’t want to get into a debate on the right public policy to eradicate poverty. There has been poverty throughout history. A tweak to public policies that date back to the 1600’s isn’t the answer.

What I want us to think about in this series is simply this question – Why do poor people remain poor? Furthermore, what insight does that give us?

Had you been born into true poverty, you most likely would remain in true poverty. This is a statistical fact. One of the greatest indicators of escaping poverty is never having known poverty.

It is easy for those of us who grew up in middle class America, or better, to kid ourselves that we have somehow managed to stay out of welfare and do well for ourselves based solely on our amazing work ethic. It is so hard to let go of the idea that individual responsibility is the master determination of our destiny that considering any other idea feels almost anti-American. I know it’s hard for me. I would like to think that my hard work is what got me here and that given a worse set of circumstances at birth, my hard work would have eventually gotten me here again. In many cases, that veiwpoint is simply not true.

Jon Crater painted this vivid picture in response to the question posted on Quora:

“Let me paint a picture” he begins.

“You grow up the 5th of 7 children to a single mother. She herself never finished high school.

Your father does not support you in any way. Your mother worked a job at Burger King once. But that was before you were born. You’ve never seen her work a job in your life.

You are gifted with only average intelligence.

Your mother rarely shows interest in your school work.

You don’t personally know anyone well who has been to college

You have no idea what you would even do in college since you don’t have any exposure to any professions that you actually need a college degree for.

The goal that everyone seems to have for you is to stay alive, stay off drugs and stay out of jail.

The only people you know with money are criminals. Everyone else is poor and most of them are on some sort of government assistance. No one expects you to be any different.

The only job you can get is 30 hours a week, pays minimum wage, has no benefits and barely pays for the gas you use to get there, assuming your car doesn’t break down on the way.

So…what is it about this kind of upbringing (which is astoundingly common in the US) do you think actually encourages prosperity as a goal? ”

The picture Mr. Crater created with his stark words was sobering to me. It helped take me out of statistics and “free-loaders” and “users” and put me in the shoes of people. These poor we talk about – they are people. People who often face neglect and cruelty the likes of which we can not fully comprehend. We will talk about the systems later on in this series that help to perpetuate this cycle – but for now I just want us to spend some time thinking about our question…

Why do the poor tend to remain poor? And then a follow up question: What is our response to the answer?

If the poor remain poor because they lack the means with which to escape poverty, then isn’t it our duty as members of a thriving first world society, not to mention Christians (for those of us who are), to provide them with a ladder, a bridge, a map? A way out?

Let’s come out from behind our go-to arguments and common perceptions and start to think of the poor as people—not “poor people;” rather, people who are poor.

Next week we will look at some of the other responses I received regarding the question I posed on Facebook: How do you define the poor? Obviously, financially poor is but one aspect. I think even from this week’s dialogue we can see that financial poverty is often a result of lack in multiple areas of life.

Please post your reactions. How does this discussion of the poor make you feel? I had some defensive thoughts come to mind that I mentioned above – what defensive responses came to mind as you read? Does this make you willing to think differently about the topic?

I can’t wait to hear from you.

As always – click the plus sign next to the “Follow” button to subscribe. You will get emails sent to you with each new post.

Thank you!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: