Class: 203 SWK/PSYCH
October 30, 2014
Critical Thinking Exercise
The American Dream, the idea that anyone who is determined and works hard can get ahead, has long defined the promise of the United States. Yet the reality is that life chances for Americans are now determined to a significant degree by the wealth of our parents. The dream that hard work and playing by the rules will lead to greater opportunity and a steady climb up the economic ladder is increasingly challenging to achieve, particularly for struggling families.
This class has helped me to become more aware about poverty. What is your definition of poverty? Does your mind go back to the Great Depression, or to the homeless of today? Is it the person that doesn’t have enough money to pay bills? Possibly the family who finds difficulty in keeping themselves and their children clean? It may be those things, but poverty entails more than low financial resources. It is also the extent to which an individual goes without emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical support systems. This kind of hardship exists in our area and impacts people we work with and live near. To better equip ourselves, volunteers, and the public with tools to help those in poverty. For most Americans and me, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter.
This class helped me become more aware about the measures of poverty. Poverty, which is arguably the most far-reaching, long-standing cause of chronic suffering there, is. The magnitude of poverty is especially ironic in a country like the United States whose enormous wealth dwarfs that of entire continents. More than one out of every six people in the United States lives in poverty or near-poverty. For children, the rate is even higher. Even in the middle class there is a great deal of anxiety about the possibility of falling into poverty or something close to it,...
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