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Self-worth Helps Us Overcome Poverty


Self-worth Helps Us Overcome Poverty

For people in poverty, remembering better times — such as past success — improves brain functioning by several IQ points and increases their willingness to seek help from crucial aid services, a new study finds.

The findings suggest that reconnecting the poor with feelings of self-worth reduces the powerful stigma and psychological barriers that make it harder for low-income individuals to make good decisions or access the very assistance services that can help them get back on their feet.[[MORE]]

In reading this article, I couldn’t help but think of how my dad always told me to “know my worth” and “know my local economy.”

By local economy, Papa meant to know what I brought to the table and figure out how to make it work in my surroundings. He meant for me to have ample work experience and a wide array of skills– “…Just in case you’re stuck somewhere and need a job quick.”

I sometimes have this nagging thought in the back of my mind that not enough Palauan [young] women know their worth or their value in the local economy. Anecdotal stories of girls selling themselves for everything from a burger to airtime seems to indicate that they did not have the luxury of a socially progressive father for a wingman.

As my second year in Palau draws to a close, I am both grateful to Papa– and I’m a little irritated with him as well. Here we have the man who taught me about my value as an American-borne, socio-economically low class daughter of Palauans– a tremendous blessing indeed.

But he’s also the same man who taught me that, when facing an issue of social justice, I must always fight my way forward and seek a solution– lest I be considered a part of the problem.

So I suppose I’m now somewhat stuck in Palau until I’ve tried every tactic and strategy imaginable in trying to improve the lot of my respective people.

And if that doesn’t work– I guess I’ll just have to try some more.

[Read more] Self-worth boosts ability to overcome poverty.

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