On My Distaste for Poverty

Some of my younger years have been spent in a state of poverty, the others in a state of meager income. This has been by no fault of my own; I was born into this class and still being so young have not had the opportunity to squirm free of the destitution. Even now, I live in a woefully poor neighborhood and have my own income needfully subsidized by academic grants and a generous benefactor.

Despite this, I never regard myself as being poor. That is not to say that I behave as if I were well off, but I cannot remember a time in recent years when I have felt poor. It is as if affluence had less to do with resources and more to do with the content of one's character. I know this is untrue, but I am lulled into feeling this way. I have watched carefully the prejudice cement in my psyche.

How, though, can it be helped? I am surrounded by people of scarce resources, yet I am nothing like them~ They scrounge and squander irresponsibly, are solely concerned with the most trivial of things. They have no higher thoughts; they kill over verbal disputes about things that don't even exist! Hardly a single percent among them knows half of what I do about any subject! They're unaffordably gluttonous and must divide what little they have between half a dozen screaming and ignorant children. They don't have the acuity, the scope, the ambition or the time that I do. I look at them, and I look at me, and I cannot fathom how a person of my character could remain for much longer in the same bracket as them. This is why I do not feel as though I were among them. I regard my status as a temporary trick of fate; their status will likely remain with them until they die.

I feel though that my superiority has been undermined by my own recognition of it. This ironic prejudice is deep. I cannot help but feel like a pearl plunged into the muck and filth, but it is not right that I should feel this way. They are no more equipped to remove themselves from this state than I was as a child - or as I am at the moment for that matter. I shouldn't despise them as I do, because I realize, however reluctantly, that personal character has hardly a thing to do with status and security, and I realize with even more reluctance that they are cut from the same cloth as myself.

Dilemmas like these leave me all the more uncertain about the attainability of my long term ambitions. I will be Sisyphus though; I will waste myself away against the task, even if it may be futile. It is the only thing I have.

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