Poverty is not the absence of big screen televisions or a car. Poverty is the loss of hope.
Poverty is the day-to-day routine that consumes your creative energies. Poverty is having to schedule our laundry so you never run out of clean clothes. Poverty is washing your dishes in cold water because your hot water heater is enough for one person but you live with 5 people. Poverty is walking through a city ruined by war damage, and trying not to trip over the holes in the sidewalk left by bombs. Poverty is seeing children digging through dumpsters for food and toys. Poverty is seeing these children beg during what should be their school day.
Poverty is seeing people leave day old bread tied to the handles of the communal dumpsters. Or bags of rice. Poverty is seeing people not seem to care that the streets are full of scraps of paper, plastic and empty bottles. Poverty is seeing university buildings covered with graffiti, and a park full of weeds next door. Poverty is a sky full of wood smoke that hides the view. Poverty is wearing converse sneakers in the rain because that is all you have.
Poverty is not the absence of Internet, or bank machines or credit cards. Poverty is the many sporting goods shops where people buy athletic gear for every day fashion. Because Poverty means not having time or energy to expend on playing sports. Poverty is a city full of ruined abandoned parks. Poverty is dealing with stress by smoking cheap cigarettes.
Poverty is not statistics. Poverty people saying there are more important issues than ruined parks, or alcoholism or domestic violence, or stray animals, but the issues are not addressed. So it goes.