By Yvette McShan – Poverty is a state of mind, Part 1 of 2

Poverty is a state of mind.  I’m not rich by society’s standards, but I’m wealthy in my spirit. I work hard to acquire things I like or want. I think we are as rich or poor as we think we are.

By no means do I want to disrespect anybody who struggles to keep a roof over the heads, provide for their children’s health and safety, or must choose between paying for food, rent, and medical bills.  I am speaking from the “I.”  For my own wellness and recovery, I see myself as wealthy, even though I’m not yet.

Even when I was living a heroin addiction life style, I never considered my life poor or impoverished. I was taught that being a McShan is important, and poverty is a state of mind.

Poverty is a state of mind: Poor people without electricity played bass with a washtub, clothesline, and mop handle

Poverty is a state of mind: Poor people without electricity played swingin’ bass with a washtub, clothesline, and mop handle

Poverty Is A State of Mind; I Used to Have Nothing

I might not live in the best neighborhood or drive a Bentley. I may not own a mink coat. But I have a roof over my head, a comfortable welcoming home, filled with nice things, a closet full of clothes — some from thrift stores, some from exclusive, expensive stores.

I may never be invited to a White House party, but I go to conferences and gatherings I feel are just important.

I live on a limited income, in subsidized Section 8 housing, but I know how it is to be homeless, because I once was.   Also I know how it feels to get out of prison with $200, and no housing, praying I get a hotel voucher for a month, hoping I can get general assistance and Food Stamps.  Poverty is a state of mind, and after that, I don’t feel poor.

From Nothing to Something to Nearly Enough

I learned how to access resources in my community.  From living in homeless hotels, I started working there for room and money.  I volunteered to lead groups at homeless shelters.  They paid me to to run their clothing closet.  I was grateful, but I knew I was not going to stay where I was.

Though I’m low income, and the government defines me as living in proverty, poverty is a state of mind.

I must tell myself I am going to have the life I see for myself, just as I am walking today without a wheelchair, brace, or cane though the doctors told me I would never walk again without support.  I said I would walk out of the hospital, and not be wheeled out.  I did after five months in 2000, though though it hurt like hell.

But I did it.

I used a wheelchair, brace, cane , and physical therapy for almost two years, but today I use nothing, not even pain medication or alcohol, just something for a headache occasionally.

Living in America we should have health care for everyone

I Won’t Always Be Poor

I intend to be better off than I am  today, a business owner and homeowner.  I’m working toward  getting my BA degree. Before I graduate, I will become a homeowner through Section 8, federal subsidized housing program.

Others may say I’m crazy, but I don’t care what others say about Yvette.  It’s what I say about me that matters.

By the standards of the country I live in, my status is poor, but I refused to own that for Yvette McShan.

Poor People Must Organize to Change The Nation

No one in America should be subjected to a life in proverty but until we who are living in proverty start voting — making our city, county, state, elected officals accountable — we will continually get what they want us to have:  Nothing.  just complaining among ourselves.

But the Victorious Black Woman is going to be that change. ” That’s A Promise” or I will die trying,

If poverty is a state of mind, how rich or poor are you?

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