After reading Linda Tirado’s blog in the Huffington Post, “This is why poor people’s bad decisions make perfect sense,” I felt angry, understanding all too well. I’ve seen it and sporadically experienced it some way or another. Some, the rich, may never understand because the stories of the poor seem only to exist on wide-screen or in literature.
But the fact is that if you are poor it becomes an expensive downward spiral where you just struggle to survive one day at a time. There is urgency in the now. Wise decisions are something hard to make. You need to make decisions based on the “now.” You can’t plan to save because to do that you need more money to spend “now” in order to get the savings. As buying 3 for 1, when you can only afford one item. That doesn’t work when you live from paycheck to paycheck, if that.
You have to make hard choices, coffee or plain warm water. Take the bus or walk. Survival is about making quick small choices, yet big decisions to the poor. It becomes the art of giving up little and big pleasures constantly, surviving and living in continuous anguish because you lack those 25 cents to get the laundry done, for example.
I’m not poor, or at least I make enough to have my daily meals and be able to relax somewhat, but I must admit I barely make it. Right now I’m at a turning point and I don’t know where it will take me. I willingly took a pay-cut in order to do my best at a job, focus and be rested enough to be up to it.
I still have to make hard choices. I have to get regular skin check-ups since I had melanoma before, but I’ve been postponing them because although I have health coverage, I can’t afford the $180 check up fee. If during the check-up they decide I need to have a biopsy, well, another couple hundred or more. So, I wait and hope for the best. Sometimes by ignoring it I believe it will miraculously be OK. Just like the ostrich, I hide my head in the sand.
Linda Tirado’s honest and raw description of what it is like to be poor is one you should read. There is nothing like getting it straight from the horse’s mouth: In her blog you will hopefully understand that the poor, have a voice which is shut closed by all the hard work they undertake, leading them nowhere. Hopefully, she will someday enjoy a few well deserved pleasures.
I wish her the best. She deserves a break, as most poor do.