Living in poverty vs being poor


I have seen children in parts of the world living in poverty with no food, no clothes and they cannot afford to go to school.  People living in poverty are extremely mobile because they have almost nothing to their name and are able to move everything they own from one shelter to another.  Many may even be homeless.

When I migrated to New Zealand, I found out that many people are ‘poor‘.  Despite the government’s financial assistance through Work & Income which give benefits (from housing, unemployment, childcare, sickness and more), some people are still ‘poor’.  Some are poor and struggle to put food on the table and yet can afford to have a big television and Skytv.

People can be ‘rich’ yet poor.  Rich in assets and poor in cash.  Some people are poor because they spend everything they have quickly.   When their budget runs out, they cannot afford to pay their rent or food until the next benefit or pay cheque comes in.

ANZ’s survey in 2012 revealed that New Zealanders were saving around 2 to 3 per cent of their take-home pay whereas Australians were saving 9 per cent and many in Asia were saving 12 per cent.  There is little wonder why there are many ‘poor’ people in New Zealand (and around the world).

Everyone knows that New Zealand is a developed country but not many know that almost 305,000 (that’s 28% of) New Zealand children spend their childhoods living in poverty.  These children live in cold, damp, over-crowded houses, they do not have warm clothing, their shoes are worn, and many days they go hungry. A life of poverty can lead to poor performances at school, not getting a good job, having poor health and falling into a life of crime.

Is being ‘poor’ a choice?

As a young child, living in poverty definitely isn’t.

However, those who are ‘poor’ have made a mental decision to accept their situation and have chosen to stay there.  They may not even mentally ‘know’ they have chosen to live the way they do, week after week to wait for the day the money (benefit or pay cheque) comes in and then spend it on ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’ only to be broke again before the week is up.

Most rich people were not born rich.  They made a choice to make a difference and work hard, be it from young or a break through any stage of their lives with determination and goals.

A decision not to change is a decision to remain the same.

Being born poor is not a choice but to stay poor is a choice !

What are your views?

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
~Norman Vincent Peale





via The Daily Post – Mind the Gap
– The distance between idea and execution can be a source of frustration or of inspiration.

8 thoughts on “Living in poverty vs being poor

  1. “In 2014, 305,000 (29%) of dependent 0–17 year olds were living in income poverty defined using a relative threshold measure of below 60% of the median income after housing costs were taken into consideration. ”

    That’s how they measure poverty in New Zealand. And it is ridiculous.
    60% and below the median income?

    So no matter a rise in the median income, there will always be poverty of a similar level. For example, and to exaggerate, if the median income doubled, yet you only earn 60% of this new figure, you would still be living in poverty according to the criteria.

    Or, if incomes fell and you were then closer to the median figure, you would, suddenly, not be poverty-stricken. That doesn’t make any sense.

    That is why I don’t accept this 29% figure.

    So, how many NZ kids live in poverty? I don’t know. But a heck of a lot less that 305,000 I suspect.

  2. Physical poverty is easier to cure than spiritual poverty. Some of the poorest people are happier than some of the richest. I agree with the saying “give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for life”. There are no easy answers. Thanks for reminding us to think of those who are in need, to do what we can to help, and above all to pray!

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