THIS WOMAN IS 54 YRS OLD
CRIPPLED JOHN FROM CANADA WAITING FOR HIS DISABILITY CHECK WHILE LIVING ON THE STREET
RAY EXHIBITING SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS LIVING IN THE STREETS
THIS IS A WOMAN! SHE WAS GRATEFUL FOR THE ATTENTION IN HAVING HER PICTURE TAKEN.
In an article called, "Social Class as Culture: The convergences of resources and class in the social realm", Krauss and Keltner have done research on the impact of money on our class structure. (We pride ourselves that we don't have a class society in the US, but, surprise! We do!)
It seems that the poorer people are, they are more empathetic and willing to help others. The opposite is true of most rich people.
Even if someone starts poor and then gains riches, these people usually slowly lose their empathy for the downtrodden.
Should we be happy if we aren't rich? It feels like cold comfort--and yet, one of the most prized aspects of being human is our ability to be empathetic. Being poor makes it easier.
They are not saying that being poor automatically makes you a "saint" (though it would be easier). It's just that the poor can't depend on the rich (and often the government) to help them; so they have learned to help each other and are motivated by shared suffering and needs.
This makes for greater altruism, strength of character, and being more finely attuned to others' needs.
The worldview of the poor is drastically different from the rich. (Well, we knew that, but now it is proven!)
The rich have difficulty (really) in "reading" the needs of the poor. They come off intolerant, without a clue (which is true), and uncaring when trying to relate to the poor.
The end result of all this information for the authors is: (and this one sucks) that we cannot depend on the rich to take care of the poor.
Do the rich feel happier; yes, to a degree. They are more independent, can focus on themselves and their interests (and often that is a boon to society if they can contribute to its knowledge, etc.). However, that is as far as it goes, folks! (You can smirk now...!)
Rich people, because they are so autonomous, lack the close interaction with humans that the poor have. Why is that a bad thing? Because studies on happiness show that the greater part of happiness is the good relationships you develop with others.
One step forward, 2 steps back...
GABRIEL FROM PORTLAND IN MEMORIAM
SHOT HIMSELF A FEW DAYS AFTER THIS PIC WAS TAKEN
Because I'm so angry with this country for making the poor poorer and making us suffer, I admit I'm not benevolent enough to feel sorry for the rich quite just yet!
The thing about being poor, is that you do need a certain level of comfort to go on being happy in your poverty. Enough food to eat, roof over your head, love for yourself and others. That is a good start.
However, stats show that people living in poverty are also less healthy and more prone to depression. Not good.
So...it seems like money is a double-edged sword! The poor are not necessarily happy; there seems to be a cut-off point at which the poor can begin to be happy--and that probably differs with each person and situation, I would guess.
What can we do? If we are struggling financially (as so many are these days) we can remind ourselves of our blessings and that money does not bring automatic happiness. But striving for a certain required amount to take care of your family, is very important.
Once again, because there are far more poor than rich, we need to understand that we need to help each other--because the wealthy and powerful will not do enough to dig us out of this morass of poverty!
I propose setting up barter systems everywhere. More and more are popping up and we seem to be returning to the ancient way of survival. "I'll give you this sheep if you marry my daughter and take her off my hands." Just kidding...
I really do believe in barter systems. I set one up on Paros where I lived and for a while it did work. After I left, it petered out...momentum was lost, I think, and maybe there weren't enough desperate people to engage in that kind of system.
Let's just hope that the government doesn't outlaw bartering. I mean, heck, they are trying to control most every other aspect of our lives. And, guess what? It is difficult to control and tax bartered goods! Ha! Take that you money-grubbing, power-mongering sociopaths!!!
Deep breath...deep breath... OK, I'm ok now. ;0)
SEE POST: MITT JOKES ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT