Being poor doesn't mean you have to be trashy!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeffrey Noel, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    While I know this may be a little too close to the "no-no" side of HTF, I just thought I'd strike up something that's bugged me for a long time.

    First, let me say that I know what it's like to be financially poor. From the ages of 2-8, my single mother raised me and my two sisters on minimum wage without any child support. My mother did not attend college, so she had a difficult time finding any decent job. However, she worked her ass off to provide us with the necessities. I have so many fond memories from these times. We ate a lot of bologna(baloney) sandwiches, to the point of hating them now. But, the point I bring up, we did not look or act poor. We kept our house in great shape. We kept the inside and the outside clean. We didn't keep a bunch of crap thrown all over the yard, and we mowed, regularly. Ok, enough of my background.

    So, I want to ask what makes SOME people who are financially poor look like trash? Do they just not care? Did they just give up? I see people who wear clothes that look like they dumped a bottle of ketchup or smeared dirt on. Their kids are dressed the same way, which kills me to see. (Not looking forward to seeing those children living like that when I teach elementary school.) Then they go home to a house that looks like it is being held up by duct tape and rubber bands. And then they have toys, clothes, trash, cars on blocks, etc. scattered throughout their yard. It just boggles my mind to imagine living like that. If you're poor, fine. But you don't have to look trashy. Maybe you all can enlighten me.

    The main reason I'm curious about this is because as I go to the elementary schools to observe and teach for my El. Ed. degree, I have to see those children who have to go home to that stuff. It kills me.

    I know not all who suffer financially are like this, but there are a lot that are.

    Any comments?
     
  2. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    I'd be interested in some reasons myself. I think it's because some people are just that way. Maybe their folks raised them that way for whatever reason so they just raise their own kids the only way they know how.

    When I was in school there was a family that had 4 boys of various ages. Now these kids had the worst hygiene and cloths I've ever seen, but their family was rich, I'm talking millionaires. I went to their house one time and it was about the worst place I could ever think of living in, dirty cloths and dishes all over the place, you name it. It's just the way they were. I don't have anything against that way of life because if they want to stink and live in filth it's their prerogative.

    I'm sure it's the same with people who don't have a lot of money. There's always a place to get clean cloths, at least around here, if they need them, like shelters or churches.
     
  3. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Yes. Not everyone has the same spirit as your mom, and need a support system of friends, family and sometimes government to help out. If that fails, for whatever reason, many people simply give up. It's hard for many people to care about looking nice when you don't know how you're gonna pay for food the next week.

    Also, there are a lot of rich people that look like hell, don't forget that, but in that case I think they just don't give a damn. [​IMG]
     
  4. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Been there, seen that, too.....
    There appears to be one thing missing when you see situations like all have mentioned......PRIDE.

    Looking back at the 50's when my two brothers and I were raised in a single parent home, I remember now that it must have been hard for my mother. BUT....I can also look back and see that we were always clean, fed and lived in a well kept home......and we were raised with pride. Obviously my mother succeeded with her methods because we never knew that we were financially poor. Instilled in our lives was the knowledge that nobody was better than we were but we also were no better than anybody else.

    The kids you see now who are displaying their upbringing are simply showing their parents values or rather non-values and there certainly appears to be a huge something missing, especially PRIDE......
     
  5. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I think you are comparing apples and oranges here. Self image and financial position aren't neccessarily attached at the hip. They can influence each other, but they are really two separate things. I know plenty of rich people who are slobs [​IMG]
     
  6. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Some poor folks are poor because of extraordinary challenges and make the best way they can in the face of them. Others are poor (or stay poor, or become poor) because of destructive lifestyle choices.

    You wouldn't have wanted to see what I called "home" when I was a young man. When I first cleaned up my act, I was still pretty broke for quite a while, but I took a lot more pride in myself and my surroundings.

    I also concur with Joe's comments.
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Self image and financial position are related. Attached at the hip, no. There are plenty of well off families who live like slobs and plenty of not so well off families who don't. However, there is a heavy slant on this: More poor families live trashy than others. Don't believe me? Drive through a trailer park, then drive through a gated community. I lived in a trailer park for 3 years - bought a singlewide after moving out of my parent's house when I was 18 because I didn't want to live in an apartment - so I know firsthand how many poor people live.

    Yes, there were many families who had nice trailers. Their homes and clothing were clean and they did have pride. Unfortunately, they were a small minority. [​IMG]
     
  8. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Man, much of this thread is assumption. If any of you have been truly poor, these silly questions wouldn't matter. Better yet, even come to mind.

     
  9. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    The people that really bug me are the ones that send their kids to school hungry, but still manage to find the cash to smoke. [​IMG] I'd love to slap every one of them silly.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  11. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    On the opposite end of the spectrum is the assumption that those with money have character.

    I've known my share of rich people who no substance as people whatsoever.
     

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