Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mindfulness and Poverty

Living in the present brings one balance and harmony to a stressful life. As we meditate to become mindful, we learn a few things to live without, a self-control and a heightened self-efficacy. We want that in a stressful life to bring back its breath and rejuvenate us to continue our tasks.

But after reading these articles about poverty (x, x) - poor people are stigmatized by the rich as if their poverty is because they are weak and have no self-control. The myth that poor people cannot restrain themselves from frivolous consumption, as in spending government subsidies on fast foods and other items. All of this thinking is NOT TRUE!

Poor people are poor because of piss poor policies and injustices done to people. Poor governance of human capital that prizes human contribution and inclusion. Irrational narcissism that oppresses people less fortunate in life than what happens to other. It's an arrogance to condemn the poor and for those of us who are religious, specifically Christian, it is one of the greatest sins we wage against God and Jesus Christ.

In fact, poor people have to live in the present because they do not trust the future and it is uncertain as well as unstable. To save a little money for a future payment for say "school" when they finally get enough money, the program is no longer there. It was the difference to eating to survive and then hoarding and hiding money to a future of empty promises. Why trust that? Which means that poverty is more a systemic and organic issue than a weakness of will.

Poor people refrain from eating poor diets, in fact they eat healthier ones. Some dumb people will ask why are poor people fat as the reference women of color, specifically Black women, and never did it occur to them that most poor people might be in starvation response. That in starvation, the stomach protrusions through an enlarged liver to drive sugar production and dwindling bones could possibly be the reason why poor people can be overweight. To correct the starvation response requires high amounts of protein in palatable diets, which unfortunately protein sources are markedly scarce in impoverished environments. Moreover, forget alternative diets, like vegan or vegetarianism. Last checked, most poor people in urban areas cannot have livestock for consumption due to health concerns, and within two generations, the agricultural lifestyle is absent for a majority of people. Farming and ranching is done by corporations that rip off the small farmer who barely makes ends meet further enhancing food desserts.

However, poor people who manage to overcome their obstacles do it at their risk of stress that impacts their bodies, with heart disease and rapid aging. It is as if they know they are poor and it makes them sick so they struggle to not be poor. What would happen if they did not know?

That cocky behavior is manifested solely by the rich. A privilege to dominate over those who can't make decisions. It is as if we live in the FICTIONAL tale of "Oliver Twist" that if we give an impoverished child a better life, then perhaps they will become better. The issue is give JUSTICE to poor people than to create a heaven for them and to see it all defiled by their inability to see the longterm. A survival mentality from day-to-day to complex to higher brain function of prognostication takes education. And our society has failed in that.

Ironically, MINDFULNESS as practiced by Tibetan Buddhist Monks is to relinquish all worldly possession into a poverty of physical attributes and purse a life of solitude and meditation into the richness of the cosmos.

In order to be MINDFUL one has to be poor in physical wealth. For a Christian we are led by the Jesus' scripture, Mark 10:21:

Looking at him, Jesus felt a love (high regard, compassion) for him, and He said to him, “You lack one thing: go and sell all your property and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”

Today to be poor, though stigmatized by society, is to be rich in a spiritual sense. That poverty, though it can cause a rough, tough exterior, criminal in some respects, also brings a compassion in the spirit higher than any monetary richness can provide. No one likes being poor if they know about it or care about practicalities which are essential, i.e. shelter... Poverty builds lack of trust in people because resources are uncertain and unstable. However, living in the present gives hope for the future that tough times are not forever, and even if they are, the future works in forces more powerful than monetary treasures on this planet. It teaches us to love one another more, compassionately for justice to serve.