Resolved to Live and Feel

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“She began to do as she liked and to feel as she liked…She had resolved never to take another step backward.”

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin

Mermaid Explorer

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King Neptune beamed and hugged his smallest child. “My Minnow,” he boasted to he entire kingdom, “is a daring explorer!”

The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell

Destiny and Doing Something Important

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“Destiny” sounded like an obligation, and if I was to be thrust into battle against a legion of nightmare creatures, that had to be my choice. Though in a sense the choice had been made already, when I agreed to sail into the unknown with these peculiar children. And it wasn’t true, if I really searched the dusty corners of myself, that I hadn’t asked for this. Really, I’d been dreaming of such adventures since I was small. Back then I’d believed in destiny, and believed in it absolutely, with every strand and fiber of my little kid heart. I’d felt it like an itch in my chest while listening to my grandfather’s extraordinary stories. One day that will be me. What felt like obligation now had been a promise back then—that one day I would escape my little town and live an extraordinary life, as he had done; and that one day, like Grandpa Portman, I would do something that mattered.

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Internal Importance

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Now, nothing should be able to harm a man except himself.  Nothing should be able to rob a man at all.  What a man really has, is what is in him.  What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

The Voices of Others: F*ck I Look Like!

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More strong opinions and good words created by other people.

It will be noted that I am white and this poem is about black experience. I fully acknowledged that I do not have her experience. Our differences do not diminish the power of her words or make it wrong (or improper) for me to include them in my list of good words and strong opinions. Additionally, there were points where she is definitely speaking to my own experiences as a poverty survivor – a few quotes:

  • “You’re looking at me like I’m not supposed to be standing here next to you. Like we’re in the same class but your idea of advanced is to advance that my mind can’t match you.”
  • “White people think they run shit because they got money to buy the source.”
  • “As soon as I raise my hand for anything other than a bathroom break, I become a weirdo.”
  • “Why would I use big words? So I can sound like you? You know what I sound like? Like I’ve read a book before.”

Time to Overcome

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I don’t need to relive my fears anymore. All I need to do now is try to overcome them.

Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) by Veronica Roth

Could Be Gentle

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His voice is higher, lighter than I expected. He could be a gentle man, maybe, if this were a different kind of place. As it is, I see that he isn’t gentle, doesn’t even know what that means. Even though I myself have discarded any kind of softness as useless, I find myself thinking that something important is lost if this man has been forced to deny his own nature.

Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) by Veronica Roth

True Beauty

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“Color fills her cheeks, and I think it again: that Johanna Reyes might still be beautiful. Except now I think that she isn’t just beautiful in spite of the scar, she’s somehow beautiful with it, like Lynn with her buzzed hair, like Tobias with the memories of his father’s cruelty that he wears like armor, like my mother in her plain gray clothing.”

Insurgent (Divergent Book 2) by Veronica Roth

 

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I notice that she has pulled her hair back on both sides, to reveal the scar in its entirety. She looks better that way—stronger, when she is not hiding behind a curtain of hair, hiding who she is.

Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) by Veronica Roth

Don’t Make Me Say It

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You Can’t Treat Me That Way

“You’ve got a woman who knows her worth
And ain’t prepared to compromise it
You better listen you better make it better
But don’t make me say
You can’t treat me that way”

Kate Earl by Kate Earl

 

Poverty Survivor Pride: No Shame In Being Poor

Poverty Survivor Defined

Poverty Survivor (White) Tee Shirt

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A Poverty Survivor is any human being who has survived poverty. The individual may have been poor at some time in the past, in the throes of survival right now, or a member of a family that has (as far anyone knows) always been poor. It’s not about the duration or the cause, it’s about the ability to survive.

Why I Am A Survivor

There is no shame in being poor.
There is no shame in being born into poverty.
There is no shame in having family who is poor.
There is no shame in being homeless.
There is no shame in facing a serious financial crisis.
There is no shame in complete financial life change.

I Am Your Equal (white) Tee Shirt

WildRaccoonPress on Zazzle.com

Poverty is a life experience.
I have faced this experience and lived to tell the tale.
I have gained skills.
I have made friends.
I have discovered inner strength.
I have successfully faced thousands of seemingly impossible challenges.
I have gotten through the worst, even when it did not seem possible.

I. Have. Survived.

Therefore, I am a survivor.
I have a right to my pride.

No Shame In Being Poor (white) Tshirt

WildRaccoonPress Zazzle.com

What Poverty Is NOT

It is not a crime.
It is not a sin.
It is not proof of God’s wrath.
It is not proof that a shameful/sinful/criminal act has been committed.
It is not proof of laziness or poor work ethic.
It is not proof of low intelligence.
It is not proof of poor money management skills.

Poverty Happens
People do not deserve poverty.
People do not choose poverty.
Poverty is not a ‘lifestyle.’

Poverty is not absolute.
Those with wealth may one day see poverty.
Those in poverty may one day see wealth.

Poverty Survivor (Black) Shirt

WildRaccoonPress on zazzle.com

Claim Your Pride

Discussions about poverty are to often overshadowed with shame and fear. The process of getting out of poverty frequently involves trying to pass as upper class while hiding both experiences and family connections.

There is no shame in being poor. Addressing the problems people in poverty face is a difficult process made more difficult by our own shame. Proudly declaring that you have survived poverty helps to break down that culture of shame.

We have the right to be treated with respect.
We have the right to aspire to better.
We have the right to hold our heads high.
We have a right to our pride.