What It Feels Like to Be Truly Poor

truly poor


Poor Middle Class Is Not Truly Poor

Being truly poor was something I had no idea about before I put the pieces together for this blog post. Living in fear of not having enough to eat is not poverty. It is a poor middle class fear. On the other hand, having to go without food is truly poverty. What the family in this story goes through is completely alien to me. I am simply part of a growing US phenomenon, the Poor Middle Class. By the standards of the people in this story, I am very rich.

This prize winning video, Reel Time: Bone Dry: Winner of 2013 Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award
(Produced by GMA Network, Philippines) is a Philippine documentary on child malnutrition as well as the shocking living conditions of the truly poor.

To quote the YouTube.com description, “This documentary tells the story of Mary Rose, a girl from a very poor family living in a slum. Although Mary is 10, her height and weight are comparable to that of a 5-year old child. She lives with her five siblings, who have all been diagnosed as severely malnourished. Mary’s mother, Vina, earns less than a half a US dollar a day, and has to single-handedly provide for her six children.”

Mary Rose is small and underweight for her age due to malnutrition. But she is big in spirit, insightful and strong with determination. She has two dreams in life, to get an education, she wants to be a doctor, and to eat chicken meat. Imagine never having tasted more than the broth from a chicken but not the meat. Think about going to school without having eaten and falling asleep in class. In addition, Vina, Mary Rose’s mother does not waste money to buy soap because that takes money away from buying food for her children. Imagine any of these and watch this deeply stirring video. Then you will know in your heart, and feel in the pit of your stomach, what it must be like to be truly poor.

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