Being Poor and Proactive
by Rebekah Dull
What is poverty? Dictionary.com defines it as, “the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.” It’s a great definition. It explains what poverty is, but it doesn’t explain how poverty exists and thrives. In my opinion, poverty is an evil disease that sees no color. It has no mercy on race, gender or age. It will consume and destroy relationships, families and the core of an individual’s potential.
Unbeknownst to me, poverty was my lifestyle at a young age. At the age of six, my parents were divorced and I grew up with a single mother who in the beginning had no education other than a general education diploma (GED). Her income was very modest. Poverty’s lifestyle had a serious grip on me for a large portion of life, until I understood what adversity I was truly facing and how it would soon become solely my problem as I grew older.
How does someone end up in poverty? Sometimes poverty is caste upon us by our parent’s poor choices or even our own poor choices. Other times, because of certain circumstances, life knocks us down into poverty and we must build ourselves back up. No matter the situation, one must be proactive to defeat the death grip of poverty.
To escape poverty, I have learned that you must be proactive. Every fiber of your being must do the opposite of what got you there. I’m nowhere where I want to be, but I escaped from my immediate reality of poverty by doing these 3 things:
- Transform Your Mind: Your way of thinking must change from negative to positive. Your first thought of an opportunity has to change from “I can’t” to “How can I?” You must believe you CAN succeed at an opportunity. Any fear you constantly feel must be turned into fuel. I’m not saying that I don’t fear anything anymore, but I know that I also cannot go back.
- Plan For Your Future: Now that you’ve transformed your mind, you can change your future. You have to discover your passion. And no, don’t turn this into a cliché-ish statement. This indeed will take time and might even change a few times. The important aspect of a plan and creating goals is to know where you are headed. As long as it is forward, you’re doing great!
- Execute Your Plan: You’ve created a plan, now what right? Now, follow through with it! You might have to make phone calls, ask questions and be uncomfortable- but it’s not impossible. I’m not going to lie. This isn’t easy. The fear that consumed you in the beginning will try to remind you that you aren’t good enough to be better than what poverty allows.
For me, I chose college to get myself out of poverty. I chose to be better than what my past told me I could be. Each path is unique, but we all want to thrive. Poverty is a life long struggle, even when you climb out of it. It is a reminder of what you used to be. If I can help anyone else in their situation, I’ll be happy to do so.
Just because you come from a product of failure, that does NOT make you a failure. You determine that.
Rebekah A. Dull, Scoliosis Surgery Survivor, CEO of My Life, and COO of My Dreams
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