During a conversation recently with an educator, the topic of concentration in schools came up. Among so many other things of course. One of the things that we talked about was the fact that children are expected to focus on instruction and direction when many of them are too hungry to think. The idea that “poverty is the worst form of violence” made so much sense. Gandhi must have experienced a great deal of strife in order to come to this conclusion.
We broke it down and talked about it as it relates to the hungry children that cannot focus on learning all the way to the way people are treated in society based on their socioeconomic status. The fact that some families are not able to feed their children regularly is more than sad or a problem, it is a form of violence. Parents work hard to provide a way for their children and they still struggle to meet every need all the time. Those same parents are forced to attend the school of life with sub par nutrition as well.
People that struggle are thought of as people who are bad money managers. The struggle seems like it is only real for those that have children but it is real for those that do not as well. So many of us are turned loose into the world without any guidance or preparation for how to thrive in this twisted society. The downtrodden are not there by choice. Many are there because of circumstance. Many suffer because they do not have the same opportunities. Many suffer because their opportunities have been taken away. Many suffer and struggle because they are so focused on surviving that they do not have energy to devote to anything else.
Again, poverty is a form of violence, so people who have to live life this way are subjected to the looks, stares, and comments about their situation. Regardless of how hard they work, they are still viewed as less than. In spite of the world working against them, their determination to keep going allows them a chance to survive a little longer. It is a hard way to live life but it is possible to achieve survival and maintain it. Just as children cannot learn when they are hungry and wondering where their next meal will come from, we cannot learn how to thrive if we are starving for survival.