What Does it Mean to be “Poor” in Different Places in the World?
Posted on September 24, 2014 by Daniel at 2:30 pm
Poverty is often defined by the amount that a person has in money and material possessions, this can lead to extreme poverty, and even destitution. This level of poverty refers to the deprivation of basic human needs, including shelter, clothing, food, and education.
Some communities and countries across the world are truly poverty-stricken to the point where they might not have the access to what we call basic facilities like electricity and water. The crisis of food is prevalent in such places, wherein the help of hunger charities like Charity Right- charityright.org.uk would probably be needed to offer free meals. Unfortunately, those people do not get the privilege of pursuing education, which restricts their job opportunities. While this is a true picture that many NGOs would try to show the world, there is also something else called relative poverty, which is defined as the economical state of the society you live within.
What is considered poor in one country may be an entirely different opinion in another part of the world. Depending on where you choose to live in the world, will often determine the level of opportunities that you will have in life. Some countries are deprived politically, economically and socially; however, the people are happy and consider their lives to be full.
There are many different factors that you need to consider when looking at the level of poverty where you live in the world. Often in poorer areas, there will be fewer assets, a lower academic achievement rate, basic or no healthcare system and little or no power over decisions. There is also a higher vulnerability for conflict, disease, crime and natural disasters.
One of the biggest differences with poverty in places around the world is that you need to understand that it is multidimensional. The degree of poverty will depend on many different factors, including ecological, economic, social and cultural influences. People living in rural areas will be affected with a different form of poverty to people living in urban areas.
As different countries continue to grow, there is a massive decline for others, and how the country deals with the level of poverty is personal. There is a massive inequality in different countries, and for some people they have never known any other way of life. Often in poorer countries there is a lack of jobs, and limited access to markets and credit.
What you may consider to be a normal way of life, others may frown upon and decide that your living conditions are poor. Long working hours, in terrible conditions is normal, and although it may not be considered to be typical for your country, for some it is their day to day life. If you have the opportunity to live in more than one country, you will see many cultural differences.
There are countries such as the US that have incredibly high living standards for a vast majority of people. However, they also have millions of people that are considered to be living in high poverty, and that need assistance. Some people feel that to be poor in the US is far worse than in other countries, especially throughout Europe.
This is due to the different way of living, and what you need to survive and thrive in different countries. It is considered that the people, who are the worst off in the US, are in fact better off than the top 10% of people in countries such as Russia, Mexico, Spain and Portugal. This displays that there is no real system to determine the poorer people, and what is best for them in their lives.
Many people that are considered to be some of the poorest in the world do not feel that they suffer hardship. What they have in life they are grateful for, and they see no reason to want more, which is a fantastic attitude. Placing people into boxes, and classifying them as poor due to other countries standards is typical of the way everyone looks at the world.
History has shown that poverty is unavoidable and that there will always be people and countries that are considered to be extremely poor. Slowly people are beginning to move above the poverty line, and today more people than ever before are considered to be comfortable. However, there are still a massive number of people that struggle every day with money, but not other things.
If you live in a country where finances are not considered as valuable, you begin to realise what is vital to survive. Of course, money is an indispensable asset to have, but we all need to stop focusing on how much money we have, and look at the bigger picture. Things in deprived countries are typically less than in thriving countries, which makes them appealing.
You will soon discover that countries that have less money actually have far greater things such as family and friends. Communities pull together, and people enjoy their time with family, which is something that money cannot buy. People in European countries enjoy spending time outside, with basic food and drink.
There is no demand to have the best car, or latest clothes, and children and younger generations appreciate what they have every day. The world has become an incredibly greedy place, with far too much focus on material things such as property and vehicles. If you take a step back and think about what is valuable in life, you may surprise yourself.
Defining a person by how much wealth they have is an incredibly shallow way of looking at their life. Just because they may have less material objects than people in other countries, does not mean that they are poor or suffering. Many people choose to live where they do, and enjoy the simple things in life. Who are we to criticise their lives, and put them into a category of being poor, and poverty stricken.
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