I think I hadn’t really...

I think I hadn’t really understood poverty until I witnessed families with third generation unemployment and poor literacy buying the shiniest gadgets and shoes with the help of catalogue accounts, bingo winnings and cash in hand ‘odd jobs’. I hadn’t understood the marginalised until I sat beside children who were on so much medication they couldn’t sit still, let alone listen or look you in the eye. Who had witnessed so much cursing and negative criticism in their relationships that they couldn’t take a compliment or praise without insulting one of their peers at the same time, who couldn’t watch a football game without punching a door or a table, who never knew what time it was and just kept knocking at the door because no-one was dropping them off or picking them up, let alone knew where they were. […] I came to understand poverty as not such a money based issue, but perhaps a poverty of conversation, positivity, compliments, esteem, routine, stability and time.
Under My Skin: some of my ‘Me & the Lower Newtownards Road’ story… | harrietlong Thoughts on the central role poverty plays in the continuing and recent troubles in Belfast. But could these observations not be applied to any community suffering from as much?

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