Mookychick Messageboard  
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Chatbox
Please log in to join the chat!
Post Info TOPIC: The Greatest Poverty


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 2182
Date:
The Greatest Poverty


A facebook friend of mine who studies philosophy has just posted the following quote on her wall:-

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, homeless and naked. But the poverty of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for is the greatest poverty

But, having done a bit of both, I personally think this is a very priviledged point of view. At the times when I've been hungriest, I wouldn't have stayed that way if I just had someone to chat to. I'd rather be as I am now, with enough money and food and a warm place to live, than be starving amongst friends. 

I'm not saying that they're not both really shit because, been there, they are. But it strikes me as something only the well-fed loner, the deep philosopher and the mindless Facebook 'quote on pretty picture' sharer would say really. I'm not even saying that they're not equally rough... but can anyone really think that a starving child living with a loving family that tries hard is better-off than a well-fed one who gets meals from an indiffernt housekeeper because Mummy and Daddy are too busy with their own lives?

What do Mooks think? 



__________________

Life Is A Mystery x Death Is Not = Angels and Eyeliner going to Hell hand in hand...

Mooky's Resident Cardinal of Awesomeness

 Don't make me take the shades off...



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1626
Date:

Well, I think she's right in many ways, although perhaps the phrase 'the greatest poverty' is a bit more hyperbolic. Poverty and general unhappiness are etymologically linked (e.g. 'poverina' in Italian is like poor little thing, in the same way that poor has double meanings in English), but I wonder what's cause and what's effect. In Latin I think there's a bit more differentiation between purely financial poverty and emotional lack.

I imagine this is a question which really says more about the respondent than the question itself. After all, if you're a parent worried that you can't provide properly for your child even though you love them dearly, the thought of them being financially taken care of, even by someone less loving, may seem more understandable. Conversely, if you're a child of rich but distant parents, I imagine the concept of devoted ones, even with less money, may be incredibly attractive. Personally, I think love is what matters, but there is a threshold of practicality: you can't eat love, after all. In short, it is kind of shallow, but that's more the expression of the sentiment than the sentiment itself. Feeling unloved is a terrible thing, after all, but that statement does presume a certain level of stability of basic needs (e.g. food, housing, etc.), although I do wonder if it's easier to be in that situation when you feel loved by others, or whether that's just a bohemian fantasy.

__________________


Runic Mook of the North (mod)

Status: Offline
Posts: 2641
Date:

I agree Emmi, sayings like that annoys me a bit. I interpret it as a probably well meant reminder not to be materalistic, but I agree that it can only occur among people who are privileged. Yes, we are social animals and it is not wise to forget that, but this is shooting sparrows with cannons.

It reminds me of another pet peeve of mine: "Money can't buy you happiness". Well, if you haven't eaten for a few days and have no idea where your next meal is going to come from it can. Not to mention if you are so poor that you are selling your children into slavery because you can't feed them and you hope that they will be better off. Even among us relatively rich westernes, I'm pretty sure it's been done some research that indicates that there is a correlation between personal income and happiness up to a certain income level after which income becomes irrelevant.

I suppose what really bothers me about this is the same as bothers you: That uttering it in the first place is showing an unawareness of material poverty as a huge fucking problem both on a local and a global level.

__________________

"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris



Regular Crew

Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Date:

Ask any homeless, hungry person what poverty is and they sure as hell are not going to say being unloved and unwanted. Sure from a philosophical point of view, lack of emotional support can be classed as poverty but in the real world there is nothing worse than being in a situation where you don't know where you're next meal is coming from or where you're sleeping tonight. Truthfully I think - no I feel that the comment made on the facebook wall is insulting to the too many families who are doing everything they can to keep a roof over their head and food on the table!

__________________
There is beauty in everything, you only have to take the time to look and see it.


Seasoned Mookster

Status: Offline
Posts: 75
Date:

*sorry if this seems harsh but what a pleb this girl on facebook is*

Angels+Eyeliner wrote:

A facebook friend of mine who studies philosophy has just posted the following quote on her wall:-

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, homeless and naked. But the poverty of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for is the greatest poverty

This is a sweeping generalisation that suffering is either materialistic or emotional. Not the case at all. Of course it gets people thinking about their own philosophies, but it depends on what your preconceived ideas of poor are. The statement is interesting of course, and reading the responses interests me more than the quote itself. However this quote is questionable in circumstances such as these:

1: I have a degree but I am unemployed.

A literal poverty is in place but also feeling unappreciated is a form of feeling unloved. Unemployment can make people feel unlovable, and having a degree in something which you love would imply that the subject itself feels loved by you as you are inspired by it so to be happy about something could give you a feeling of being loved.

That is a pretty ridicuous train of thought, the point is that this statement can be drawn as a black and white image but everyone has differnet priorities.



2: A mother has 2 children, she neglects the eldest but adores the youngest and showers them with gifts and affection. The eldest is ignored, never clothed or loved and eventually lives with thier aunt and uncle who raise them

This is a double 'poor', the role model/loving character is there but neglects the eldest child. Both physically with a lack of clothes or food, and a lack of love the first child is poor. They are being treated badly but they can see how they would like to be treated.



These are all random thoughts and I am no professor of philosophy but this girl, the facebook friend, isn't that smart. The quote sounds like a cheap tattoo some chav with a monroe piercing and pink acryllic nails would get to seem deep and meaningful, but really the tattoo is spelt incorrectly to emphasise the irony of a dumb person getting a 'philosophical' tattoo in the first place.


ALSO, this is an opinion based on the second sentence. She wouldn't be quoting that if she were hungry and homeless.



__________________

 To have more will than fear is to be a super hero.



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 2256
Date:

I agree with you but calling this girl a "pleb" and implying that chav = dumb is a little classist, isn't it?

__________________

"Wilfred Allsop was sitting up, his face pale, his eyes glassy, his hair disordered. He looked like the poet Shelley after a big night out with Lord Byron." - P. G. Wodehouse

Mooky's Decadent Victorian Aesthete





Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 2182
Date:

^^Yeah, I'm afraid it's a bit much to infer all these things about her from this one quote. She is my friend and she's far from dumb. Inexperienced in what it is to be hungry and cold, yes. But that isn't a fault in her. The generalisations you're making about a piercing and acrylic nails are incredibly broad-sweeping and unfair (it seems you're suggesting that the IQ of a person who chooses one look is automatically smaller than any other).

Also, I find your statements about double poverty a little bit redundant in this debate. Yes, being unloved/hungry sucks, so it stands to reason that experiencing both at the same time makes for a more miserable situation. Sorry, but I'm not quite sure what you were trying to say with that, and I've read it a couple of times. Are you saying that it's not an either/or situation, but that both are possible?

People have some pretty screwy opinions and thoughts at times, and Mooky is a great place to express them even if everyone else doesn't agree, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't say that people weren't that smart based on a tiny sentence that they agree with.

__________________

Life Is A Mystery x Death Is Not = Angels and Eyeliner going to Hell hand in hand...

Mooky's Resident Cardinal of Awesomeness

 Don't make me take the shades off...



Runic Mook of the North (mod)

Status: Offline
Posts: 2641
Date:

well, to be fair Becklebert did say that it is an opinion purely based on a sentence, and I infer that it should be taken as such. I.e. with a grain of salt, saying more about the sentiments behind such a sentence than the person uttering it as none of know said person obviously.

And I understand that the comparison with a tattoo was meant to be symbolic, but it is a bit problematic and potentially offensive as it can easily be read as if a certain appearance and cultural background equals stupidity.

__________________

"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris



Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

Status: Offline
Posts: 1974
Date:


Personally, I think poverty that affects biological survival is more immediate and far-reaching, so the hyperbolic statement on the quote does seem to have come from the standpoint of someone with privilege. But it just seems like a careless sentence structure expressing an idea that means well - that being hungry, unloved or physically/mentally in a low state of health can all have a really detrimental and far-reaching effect. So I niggle with the sentence structure, and agree it comes from a position of privilege, but I don't entirely disregard it.

The same, for me, goes for "but men face discrimination too, we're made fun of if we cry". It depends on context, of course, but if I hear that phrase in a discussion about feminism I personally can't dismiss it out of hand. Gender discrimination caused by a rigid social structure works all ways. A straight white man may have a position of privilege that they may not always be aware of, but the suicide rate is far higher among men in the UK. 3-5 times, in fact. And that's from the Samaritan 2013 report. And it's highest for men aged 45-49. That says to me that something is very, very wrong. It suggests to me that men have social constraints placed upon them which they feel so ill-equipped to deal with that they are 3 to 5 times more likely to commit suicide than a woman. Christ, that's a big deal. If I hear that line about men crying in a feminist discussion, I personally tend not to view it as a means to derail an argument, but prefer to acknowledge that yes, it is indeed a really big issue. It's exactly the sort of thing I'd like to see resolved in a society that's better and kinder to all genders. Again, like the quote on Facebook - it's a statement that may come from a position of privilege, but I'd rather look positively at the message and its meaning than the way it was expressed. Because not everyone is comfortable and clear in articulating themselves, and some people might indeed be privileged, but that doesn't mean they haven't made a worthwhile point that could do with being addressed.

__________________

Hello from Mookychick's founder. www.mookychick.co.uk. @mookychick. Mookbook. Stuff. Writes things.



Regular Crew

Status: Offline
Posts: 32
Date:

Well it's kind of like saying homophobia is worse than racism - they're entirely separate problems that can't really be compared in any way. A starving child in Africa might have plenty of friends and never feel lonely, just like a lonely and friendless middle-class English person has never gone without food or shelter. They're both in need of help, but not one more than the other, just different kinds.

Although I can't stand seeing the phrase 'First World Problems' used to describe loneliness, heartbreak or anything that people have every right to feel miserable about, as if the ONLY problems people in the Third World face are poverty-related.

__________________

Tumblr



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 2182
Date:

I can't say I've ever seen first world problems used for those things: just the trivial nonsense of 'my parents bought me the wrong colour iphone' and 'I asked for a Big Mac without onions and they gave me one with onions'. Then again, I'm not particularly enamoured with the concept of first and third world. All one world but with massive amounts of inequality.

__________________

Life Is A Mystery x Death Is Not = Angels and Eyeliner going to Hell hand in hand...

Mooky's Resident Cardinal of Awesomeness

 Don't make me take the shades off...



Runic Mook of the North (mod)

Status: Offline
Posts: 2641
Date:

The last time I saw the phrase "first world problems" was as a reply to a journalist writing an article about how everything marketed at her kids were heavily gendered: strictly separated into pink and blue. The last time before that was in the replies to an article about how it would be nice with more female protagonists in computer games. In fact, the phrase "first world problems" seem to be the new favourite argument for the brave net-warriors whose goal in life seem to be to hunt down absolutely everything with a whiff of feminism (oh the horror!), and howl out their displeasure.

Then of course, someone starts pointing out that being so privileged that you feel offended by the concept of gender equality must truly be a "first world problem".

__________________

"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris



Regular Crew

Status: Offline
Posts: 30
Date:

I was homeless for about a year (usually in shelters, though), and I've never been less monetarily disadvantaged than I am now (I make $700/month, but I live alone, in a sliding-scale apartment, so I do okay), but I wouldn't consider homelessness and other sources of psychological suffering seperate issues. Most shelters I know of (predominantly urban) are bible camps that demand free (overtime) labor, offer inconsistently edible (often unsafe) meals (we had to cook, but some of the frozen foods we got were clearly spoiled), are loaded with drug dealers, thieves, sex offenders, and their violence (many of these people are not even homeless), have staff that are often even more troublesome than any of the residents, etc. If you end up spending the night under a bridge, you won't be alone or safe either, even if the cops won't go down there to arrest you. It's usually very crowded in such spots, and there are often small children, so it's not just old dope-fiends that get hurt. I'm not sure there are any realistic scenarios in which one's ONLY problem would be food scarcity.

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us