I think that people in the United Kingdom have absolutely no idea of what poverty really is. I think that the way the United Kingdom treats the poor can be worse than the way the poor are treated in many third world countries actually. Thats that I actually come from countries where the poor sometimes sleep on make-shift mats on the floor (not out of choice, as minimalists in Japan do – as some practitioners of Kabbalah are encouraged to do – but because they have no alternative) and sometimes even live in cardboard boxes.
I have met wealthy people that have undervalued the ability and financial resources to get an education because they are ‘too famous’ and their own good fortune ends up being some kind of eco-hazard because they shop and shop and shop for things they’ll never go out in more than once, for things to decorate homes that they’ll only ever invite their tackiest wealthiest friends to, to ensure they aren’t robbed – and its sickened me – actually repulsed me. I’ve walked through the homes of Arab royalty and knowing that a popstar I lived with had her home video camera’d to make sure I wouldn’t steal made me feel nothing towards her but pity.
Imagine though: having your own land, perhaps only a very tiny piece of it – accompanied by the knowledge to design and the strength to build, knowing how to raise farm animals and grow crops, knowing how to build a fire without a lighter (I tried once, it’s a genuine struggle), knowing not only how to make your own clothes but how to gather makeshift thread or to piece together fibres, or to weave your own carpets, actively appreciating your expansive community – even if it’s only a neighbourhood occupied by four or five or less other families, being able to let your kids shower wherever there was running water and knowing your neighbours so well that you could laugh at the word ‘pedophile’ because everyone living around you had already seen everyone else naked (if only because you grew up with those neighbours) and also because the human body is just skin – and the opinions, experiences, ability to tell stories and then the clothes and colours a person decorates themselves with are actually something of beauty because there is no fucking “topshop” and everything you own is of value to you. (That is: the things you own aren’t some kind of inanimate replacement for connections with family and friends but actual treasures with stories or meanings assigned to them that contribute to an already existing personality or character.)
I value a person that can come from nothing and become so talented or educated or simply so kind that somehow they amass wealth – and then they become tacky about wealth. Having a job is great – but who got you that job? Was it someone that you were introduced to by mummy/daddy/auntie? Or was it someone that you introduced yourself to? Have you ever had to work surrounded by actual stalkers pretending not to know who you are? (Imagine if those stalkers were CELEBRITIES – they are the creepiest and least trustworthy variety of stalker. The pro is that they’re often but not always attractive, the con is that they can afford to arrange for weird stuff to happen to you and end up raising fucking miserable borderline retarded children that don’t know how to have a conversation and don’t have decent manners. Or ANY talents.)
I value a person that appreciates the Arts even if they’re “poor” (you know, if they’re sort of stuck in one of those unfortunate economic quartiles for many generations over – that people working in banks don’t bother offering any kind of genuine basic bitch respect because they know the idea of there being consequences for their rudeness are minimal) and have to resort to being a living piece of Art.
I value a person that can be polite to everyone they meet, even if they could be a ‘potential pedophile’ or a ‘rapist’ or a ‘thief’. I imagine if I had a daughter and she was abducted she’d end up flirting with her abductor and give them tips on how to improve their lifes work and perhaps end up killing them by accident/helping them run their business. I don’t know. She’d be a worser criminal than them because she wouldn’t ever have been encouraged to be a victim or to live in fear. She’d say something like “life is pretty short – too short to obsess about ‘being taken advantage’ of” (especially after a few years of me telling her stories about MY family and their friends – my mother’s side – but not my mother – excluded. Have still yet to meet a cancerian worthy of trust.) (But I value a life long lesson more than £1.)
I value a person who can know they’re being taken advantage of and give anyway, because in life everything turns around – even the financially wealthy experience a variety of poverty – not being able to love or love others because you have so much that others might ‘want’ from you is a shithole of it’s own.
Imagine being wealthy and not even knowing how to spend your money because you lack any kind of creativity. That’s worse, to me, than earning £10 an hour for looking after people or serving people coffee.