In addition, we have been personally experiencing first-hand the descent into challenging times over the last six years. I consider us, and many people like us, part of The Poor Middle Class, as I call it. I do not see a return to the kind of middle class life that our parents enjoyed after WWII. I do not see a return to conspicuous consumption that many of us got away with before 2008. The lines have been drawn. There are the ‘material haves’ and the ‘material have-nots. We have-nots have the opportunity to see things and live life in a very different way. We also do not have to go it alone.
Change can cause panic and fear. It can also be inspirational. We are personally choosing inspiration, with creative solutions and community support. That is what Back to Basics is all about for anyone who wants to live a sustainable life. It involves becoming self-sufficient for future survival and having fun learning how to make the transition. It has given me a new purpose in life, my Ikigai, as one of my Back to Basics articles describes.
Are you part of the Middle Class Poor? We are. How did it happen? What are we doing about it? These are the two questions I will answer in this blog post.
I’d like to make a few points about being Middle Class Poor. We are not alone. The problem is increasing. The government plans to have less involvement in helping to solve this problem. For example, as illustrated in her article, Hunger is all around us, yet it doesn’t have to be, Randi Shubin Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest explains what is going on. Her post starts with the following statement, “The recent vote by Congress to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — the food stamp program known as SNAP — over the next 10 years is alarming. If these cuts become law, those who are already struggling to afford food will be thrust into further hardship, increasing hunger across America and right here on Long Island.”
Because the problem is increasing and the government will have less to do with solving it, we will have to find alternative resources to solve it ourselves. That is a big part of the reason for the title of this post and the creation of a Facebook group, Resources for the Middle Class Poor. There are many private donors and nonprofit resources, like the Island Harvest Food Bank that are currently helping people.
Right now, I would like to go back to the question, how did it happen? For us, the answer is simple, ‘2008’. In the same week, my husband was laid off from his job and the stock market crashed. The fallout from that led to my own crash, physically and emotionally. I was hospitalized and became unable to work. Our lives have changed dramatically in the last five years. We had savings, we had security and we thought we had stability. The rug was completely pulled out from under us. We went from being middle class to being middle class poor.
The upside of having our lives turned upside down is that our new lives have brought us extraordinary challenges and opportunities that we never imagined experiencing. Sometimes it has been terrifying. But the more we go through, the more miracles we have received and the stronger we become. Our fear has been replaced with faith. We are inspired to pass on to others what we are learning as we help ourselves navigate our new path as part of the Middle Class Poor.
For more resource information, refer to my facebook page and group shown below.
My husband volunteers working with others and is actually studying to become credentialed in a helping field. I have gone completely wild applying my years of social media marketing studies to using social media as a communication tool for this serious, real life issue. I have created numerous facebook pages including, The Middle Class Poor and the companion group, Resources for the Middle Class Poor. As we help ourselves to grow into our new state of existence, we are working to help others who are in situations similar to ours. Together we will change the world. It may only be our world. But as Ghandi is credited with saying, ‘Be the change in the world you want to see’.