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essays

Not Pity-Poor

runner ups of life’s lottery don’t need a pat on the back

 

   We don’t choose our birthplace. Life's lottery is random, not fair. Having picked up a winning ticket, it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of people have not. The people you see here are poor, but not pity-poor. They have less – much less – but they have lives, and they smile like anyone else. They don’t need a soft pat on the back to uplift them – their strength has been forged in a hard place. But that place is hard by design, and we need to redesign it and drop our pity-forget-pity-forget-routine. As individuals who have the power to shape government policies and private sector practices, we need to change the structures that hinder the empowerment of impoverished communities.