Poverty seems like a never-ending cycle. While a few individuals managed to escape the cycle, poverty remains a societal obstacle for many. Although the United States is the wealthiest country in 2021, a portion of the population still lives in poverty.
In my book, “On the Ropes,” a large margin of the characters live in poverty—hoping to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the effects of their living conditions have made it a Herculean task to overcome. While the characters are fictional, the effects of poverty are real. Here are some of its impacts on society as a whole:
1. Increased health risks.
Living in a dilapidated environment with little to no access to water, food, and health care can increase the risk of health issues. Lack of decent food and clean water for consumption and bathing can lead to health issues. These instances can eventually lessen the quality of life for many.
2. Lack of safety.
Lack of safety is also a risk associated with poverty. Living in an affordable but dangerous neighborhood can put someone at risk for violence and crime. Additionally, working in unsafe work environments with a lack of quality safety gear can make a person susceptible to physical accidents.
3. Increased risks of violence.
Living in an affordable neighborhood comes at a price. Aside from a lack of safety, violence is high among communities with little access to quality education and support. The reason for this is that many are living in survival mode, thus making them prioritize self-preservation above all else. Some are so desperate to escape the cycle that they will find a way to make ends meet no matter what.
4. Lack of societal growth.
Lack of access to quality education and basic needs can affect the growth of society. Living in poverty is a harmful and dangerous situation, whether it’s in neighborhoods, cities, and even countries. When a place lacks growth, there is little initiative to make changes for the better. The reason? A lack of quality education leads to a lack of creative solutions. When there is a lack of possible solutions, society’s growth becomes stagnant, thus continuing the poverty cycle. When this continues, many lives become deeply affected by its effects and can continue for generations.
While others may be the exemption and seek greener pastures, the area itself will eventually lose all strength and become susceptible to conflict.
Some final thoughts:
Poverty is a threat that many of us face daily. Whether it’s seeing a homeless person or a struggling student, we must understand that poverty is a societal obstacle.