Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Review: The Working Poor

The Working Poor, by David Shipler shares the powerful and courageous stories of the hard working men and women who remain invisible in America. “The man who washes cars does not own one. The clerk who files cancelled checks at the bank has $2.02 in her own account. The woman who copy-edits medical textbooks has not been to a dentist in a decade.” These are the citizens who will never reach the American Dream, despite their ability and dedication to work hard. This transparent view of America, and the world at large are magnified through an emotional, heart-wrenching journey.   

For this population, life or death decisions must be made. They are forced to choose between food or hot water, electric or rent, and family or a job. In America, this almost seems too hard to believe. This is the land of opportunity. How could there be so much strife? Truth be told, uncertainty and desperation are emulated in the faces we interact with on a daily basis. 
Shipler’s message is to spread awareness. By doing so, we can then create change. He shares a quote by a woman who tragically fell into poverty, “We don’t feel very poor. We feel poor when we can’t go to the doctor or fix the car. ” This sends a compelling message to us all. What does being “poor” actually mean? Is it defined by a dollar value, or by life’s values that we hold close to our heart? Essentially, does money define our worth?
The Working Poor has opened my eyes not only to other people and the lives they have succumbed to, but to the meaning of life, my life, and what makes me rich as well. So many of the stories I have spent reading have created turmoil in my mind. I now walk the streets with wide eyes and an open heart.  


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...