Random (but not really)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Poverty and Dreams

Yesterday I was struck by a statement in an interview with the first Sri Lankan to go to Julliard. (Yes, the title of the interview is very wrong.)

It is such a clear–and terribly sad–glimpse of what it’s like to grow up in poverty.

I feel like people always tell me that, oh, it must be – you must feel like your dreams have come true because you’re singing, and you have a beautiful family. It’s all true. But the truth is that I didn’t really dream any of this because, for some people, there are certain things that one cannot dream. You can’t afford certain dreams…
…Because you can’t afford that dream because that’s not an option within your grasp.

When you’re poor, you can’t afford to dream.

And that’s what so many ultra conservatives don’t get. Then you are growing up in poverty, your life is not a road-map with unlimited highways and interstates and back-roads and alleys. Your life has one road–perhaps two–open to you. If you can get an education, then perhaps that road you’re on will branch out later in life, but for many, even that education is beyond their grasp.

This basic inequality is why I am politically liberal. Why I want all children to have as many roads open to them as possible, and I realize it is my responsibility to help make it so.

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