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When Poverty Becomes the Norm

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By: Elena Grace Flores
Unequal distribution of wealth happens in a democratic country because poor people don’t know any better – and the rich know too much. People in poverty  do not have access to above average education, social contacts that can augment their livelihood and no experience what comfortable living is – thus keeping the standard of their lifestyle very low.

These minimal expectations of the poor were clearly observed during the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines – and it’s confirmed through the actions of the authorities by just distributing instant noodles, water and relief clothing as the immediate help they can think of. Giving them comfortable and functional system away from the devastation immediately seems to be a taboo idea because anyway, they are used to the hardships according to some.

Being sad, disturbed and depressed after seeing their dead loved ones in a very unimaginable state or even witnessing them die amidst the storm were enough to make a human being’s state of mind out of control – but aids for these conditions were not the primary goal. Compassion, comfort, care and provision became luxuries for them. Fighting to get food for survival even became normal – but looting was something else. It was the desperate actions by those people who were taking advantage of the situation. Only, the poor situation was made as an excuse.

However, this is not the first time that they were used by selfish beings. Even in normal conditions, promises were made by politicians to augment their lives but even after the end of their term in office, nothing substantial has been done because they were only given “band aid” solutions to their problems. When poverty becomes the norm, people in power are not anymore motivated in doing the best for their countrymen – because anyway, that’s already their way of life!

Despite the things that were already said and done, people in poverty remain strong to wither not only the storm but their day to day sufferings – and the slightest hope of winning their battles can already put a smile on their face. This is symbolized during every fight of Manny Pacquiao the great Filipino Boxer – that’s why he’s the people’s champion in the Philippines.

When poverty becomes a norm, 20 typhoons visiting the country per year without proper contingency plans and relief operations in place are not a big deal. Anyway, “band aid” reliefs can shut their mouths up. If this remains to be the attitude of most people, the time will come that those who have nothing will loot those who have – and it will take only one great calamity to let this happen!

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