Poverty Has Plagued Mankind Since Time Immemorial, Essay

Length: 3 pages Subject: Family and Marriage Type: Essay Paper: #88113681 Related Topics: Child Poverty, Sociological Perspective, Just In Time, Stealing
Excerpt from Essay :

Poverty has plagued mankind since time immemorial, or at least since people have replaced the struggle for consumptive goods with the struggle for capital goods.

This particular issue is worthy of discussion because of the many lives it has destroyed. I personally know people who have endured a number of negative ramifications in their lives because they were woefully impoverished, and lacked the capital resources to better themselves. In this document I am going to discuss how poverty has affected someone very close to me (my neighbor), how he or she dealt with this problem, and the best way to teach others about poverty. Finally, I will deconstruct how the functional sociological perspective deals with the issue of poverty.

I have witnessed first hand the devastating effects of penury. The most extreme example I can offer about the noxious conditions of this social malady is that of my former next door neighbor, Miles. Throughout our time in elementary school, Miles and his large family of 6 (he had three brothers and a sister) lived next door to me in a respectable middle class neighborhood. Unfortunately, his father died and, without his financial support, Miles and his family had to move to a much poorer neighborhood. I would still see Miles regularly at junior high school, and I saw how changed he was because of the impoverished conditions he now had to contend with. With his mother as the sole breadwinner for the four children, Miles could not afford the latest clothes or even moderately expensive clothing. His family often had to settle for shopping at the Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and he and his brothers and sisters were teased relentlessly because of their unfashionable, ragtag outfits. Moreover, Miles would frequently not have enough food to eat. I maintained friendly relations with him because we grew up together, and before long I was asking my mother for an extra sandwich because he did not have...


He would regularly tell me horror stories about his brothers' first trying drugs, then selling drugs and then, one by one, getting arrested and carted off to juvenile hall and various camps. As each one left the potential money that they could have earned the family dwindled, and Miles' family became even more destitute.

Eventually, I was able to persuade my parents to let Miles come live with us. Doing so was the best thing that ever happened to him, and was my way of dealing with the sort of indigence that I saw eating his life away. My mother told me one afternoon that she saw his mother attempting to sell her body underneath a freeway overpass, and she realized it was her good Christian duty to help his mother by helping the only son she still had who was not incarcerated. When Miles came to live with us he had stopped going to high school, and was involved in selling drugs, stealing food, and surviving as best he could. I personally gave him some of my clothes to wear, and willingly shared whatever I had in my bedroom as far as space. More importantly, I was willing to help my parents sacrifice and get a job after school (Miles and I both got such jobs) at a grocery store to help feed the extra mouth in addition to myself and my older sister. We were able to succeed largely for two reasons. The first is that Miles had seen his brothers self-destruct by using drugs, so he had only sold them and not abused them. Secondly, my parents were in a financial situation in which they were able to overcome poverty themselves, and help my former neighbor do so as well.

It is difficult to teach others about the ills of poverty unless they have experienced it themselves. Many of my former classmates who willingly teased Miles equate poverty with clothes that do not match the same color. They would need to really go into some of these poor neighborhoods and see formerly virtuous women selling themselves to others, and see formerly astute, intelligent boys strung out on drugs and crime in order to truly realize how vicious this cycle is. Doing so, of…

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