by Jo Goodwin Parker
In Jo Goodwin Parker’s essay “What is Poverty?” she asks you first to listen. To listen to her story of what poverty is like. She then talks about the different aspects of what poverty is, what parts it includes that make it a dangerous reality. Jo talks about the lack of health conditions she and her three children suffer from. After explaining that the government only gives a small amount of money per month, you see why she can’t afford more nutritional foods and soaps to clean her kids. The outside world, in her eyes, won’t help and even criticizes her for not doing something. She explains then, that after awhile, doing something to get help is gets harder and harder. Jo Goodwin Parker then asks you to open your eyes, and even challenges you after seeing poverty, if you too can be silent.
After reading Jo Goodwin Parker’s essay, I was actually deeply touched. I didn’t feel pity though. What I felt instead was respect. This woman had an unfortunate situation in her life that forced her into a life not easy to live or deal with. But, with three children to care for, plus herself, she continued to press on. No matter what obstacles kept jumping in her path. I think it takes a remarkably strong person to be able to continue providing and surviving, no matter how little they have.
– Submitted by DS