Tonight, or last night as I note that it is now five minutes to two in the morning, I watched TV3’s 3rd Degree presents The Vote and even participated in the debate. Texting in was free, take that X Factor NZ. The subject being something a few of us will most definitely encounter, if not in our own lives than at least through someone we know or people we encounter:
‘Our kids – The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting. Do you agree?’
I voted no, by the way, going against the grain it would seem. Poverty plays a huge role in ensuring that the lives of children in this country, and anywhere abuse/malnutrition is a prevalent issue, is sub-par. However it would appear that most of whoever was voting on all of the platforms offered by the show believe that the problem does in fact stem from bad parenting. I may have voted against the idea that parenting is the problem for reasons like a parent’s inability to provide the bare minimum for their children if they don’t have the means, however to be honest I’m of the mind that it’s a mixture of both. A parent, drowning in poverty, can’t completely focus their energy on their child alone when they’ve got to figure out how to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and the electricity going. It would seem so easy to say things like ‘it’s down to the parents to be good parents and prioritise’ when you don’t have to wonder each week whether you’re going to have enough money to pay the bills. Like Celia Lashlie pointed out ‘the only people who say it’s not about the money are the people who have money.’
Poverty is the state of being extremely poor, or the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount. Now although this definition pertains to the party in question’s financial situation I can’t help but start to wonder at what point, for a person living in squalor, does it go from being the state of being inferior in quality to just being inferior. It’s no secret that no one wants to feel inferior, however when you’re unable to financially provide certain amenities for your family, or you’re part of a family that seems to perpetually be stuck in the poverty rut, you start to feel that you’ve become your financial problems. That is to say that you begin to believe the root of it all is you, and that’s what blaming it on the parents seem to perpetuate.
I understand the argument that some parents are spending the little money they happen to get on stupid, selfish, things like cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. But that’s because it’s more than just bad parenting, or poverty, it’s an amalgamation of both! A cycle, even. Poverty breeds ignorance that leads to bad parenting, which leads to poverty, that often leads to making desperate choices that are in conflict with what constitutes being a good parent and these decisions impact the next generation who grow up in poverty and so on and so forth. Those who voted for bad parenting can’t honestly expect us to believe that in order to make things right you have to treat everyone the same and just teach the parents to be better with what they have. Because you can’t honestly say that people living in poverty have the same opportunities as those who are not.
Now in saying this, does anyone know how one goes about selling a kidney on the black market? You laugh, but if you’ve managed to read all the way down to this here last paragraph I would wager you have the mental dexterity and endurance of someone who knows how to get out of a tight jam. A financial jam. Yes, staying topical! Seriously, hit that comment button or tweet me with some information. No harm in shopping around, you only need one kidney to survive. If you’re in need of one [stage whisper] kidney, or perhaps you have something to say about the poverty vs parenting issue, then leave us a comment. (Mainly if you have information about how one goes about selling one’s kidney though.)