"Don't play with powers that you do not understand."
This post is one that I've been holding back for about a month now. I wanted to make sure that I actually understood it to a certain extent before I began writing on it. The topic of poverty is one that I battle with because it is everywhere, and yet we seem to overlook it when we are booking vacations to foreign countries.
We are really pressed to snap, to post pictures with people of the country but aren't in touch with the place at all, it's history and its current state, very surfacy.
Poverty is not just big in the Black community but also in the White, the hispanic, the Indian, the Russian, the Asian and all over. In fact, I disagree with the way lower class people and poverty are portrayed in the media because there is always one face as if the struggle is not shared. It's all seemingly well with the other races except the us, as always.
Statistically there are more whites on welfare than blacks...
But ya knew that, everyone is just so hush, hush, about things of that nature.
I mean who would have known from the news that we view daily though?
Absolutely, NO ONE.
Mind you, I say this not to start competition or imply by any means that one race is better than the other, but facts are facts. What should be broadcasted, should also only be facts, not the world's stereotypes of one race.
However this post isn't even about race at all. My point today, on this fine Tuesday morning is how poverty is perceived in general which is as less and/or a weakness.
"A weakness is only a weakness if you think of it that way."
I say this to say: that even though materialistically poor people have less, inside they probably have way more than people with money, opportunity, and other privileges will ever have.
Here is my personal experience with this. While traveling and skimming through the rural areas where the value of a dollar is learned, in Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile I began to feel fake in a way. I felt like I was cheating myself out of a full experience in another country.
I felt fake and ashamed, not in the sense that I was given this opportunity to be here in South America but in the sense that I was a bystander to the hardships that occur here. I was taking pictures, for my blog of course, and people wanted money for their pictures, as they should but I felt so bad. It's like I was taking a souvenir of their struggle to show off and pity them back in the states, which I'm sure is what a lot of tourist do.
I didn't want to be that person.
I wasn't getting an in depth insight of what the average person (which is actually equal to poor person because the middle class is non existent) lives like, daily and I think that is very important to note.
In Ecuador and in Buenos Aires my heart hurt seeing people live like that, no one should live like that, no one. To know that that is there life and they know nothing else is just a lot for me to handle and it's hard to process honestly.
This is literally just a glimpse, a taste, of the world.
To me, looking at their lives from my perspective it was made clear that we were physically on the same earth but we obviously had two different lives and also acquired two different worlds as well, but in the same space and time.
Perspective, in this sense actually creeps me out.
Just to know that there are approximately 7 billion people in this world, (physically the same world) and we are on the same planet, breathing the same air, looking at the same sky, moon, sun and stars at night but we are each having very different experiences, is m i n d b l o w i n g!
Don't you think?
One of my program director's said something that struck me in a complex way after seeing one of the poorer areas of Chile. He said: "I would love it if with this program you could be placed in homes with the poor people."
Now you knowwwwwwwwwww, at first I'm like umm first of all, HELL NO! Second, No, like that's not an option. I pay too much for living in America, let alone for this program to be placed in a situation where I can't get basic necessities when I want/need them.
Then I stopped. I recollected. I humbled myself once again ( I swear I do this about 10 times a week), because I realized that I only reacted in that manner because of what I was used to, what I was familiar with.
If I was brought up another way my reaction would be different because it wouldn't be so extreme from what I was used to. Granit I don't think it's appealing on any level but it's not the worst.
I know it takes a lot for us all to do that but it's essential sometimes.
What is money didn't exist?
What if social media, was gone.
What if none of what you're comfortable with materialistically did not exist?
Would you be okay to just adapt to that drastic change and live somewhere in the woods happy as a lark, just to be alive on earth?
Could you survive?
Well we know it's possible because people are doing it as I'm typing these letters right now.
Even at this moment, I do believe I could be alright (eventually), with a major shift like so but I still worry. I know of life as being modern, technical, convenient, fast, over the top, and very fake in a sense, not that any of this is me but I benefit off of the unnecessary things in life, I will not lie about that at all.
But I want to push myself to be flexible in all walks and strokes of life that there are.
"Remain humble you can fall off any day."
Not sure about you, but I want to be at the point where I can answer those questions above without hesitation, saying: YES, I will be just fine!
At the end of the day, I've moved from country to country leaving the redundant ways of life still in place. The people in Ecuador are still there. The poverty is still there. The lack of money, opportunity STILL there along with the quest for a better day. In every place on earth, every crevice, life is being experienced like I will never know it.
"Where as I am just viewing their lives as a moment in time of my life, for them, the moment equates to their time on earth, period."
- Chántelle Agbro
It's deep. lol
I hope the message got through. It was tough to put these thoughts on paper but I tried, PICTURES BELOW!
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