The Poverty of Leadership (and what teachers can DO about it)

I missed the Blog Action day yesterday, but am sharing this today.

Poverty is very personal to me.  My mother grew up very poor because Grandaddy was injured in the Korean war and my grandmother, one of the most amazing women who ever lived, had to take care of them.

So, blog action day is what to do about poverty.  I called Mom and asked permission to tell her story because in it is what we can DO about poverty.

The worst thing about poverty is how you're treated.  When poverty flows over into unkindness, people who won't let their kids come to your house, and the assumption that somehow a person who is poor “earned it” or is “lower class” in their manners and dignity, that is when those in poverty become poor.

Mom always wanted to be a leader but the “cool” “rich” kids would laugh at her and say things like “Don't you know that someone like YOU can't do that sort of thing.”

A teacher at her school told Mom that she believed that Mom was a leader.  Mom went home and talked to Grandmother and Granny told her that “Don't you know there are more of YOU (poor kids) than there are of THEM – if you get your friends together and go for it, you can do it.  Stop trying to let the few accept you, they won't.  Go for what you want to do.”

Well, Mama got her friends — the down and out kids who were considered poor and beneath contempt by many students and many teachers — to help her with her campaign.

Mama won!!  The teacher also put Mom in the beauty pageant and Granny made such sacrifices to get her a dress and let her be in the pageant. 


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