Poverty – Who is to Blame?

This week in class we discussed poverty and environmental degradation. Like most, I had already had my own definition of poverty but poverty is a social condition of chronic insecurity resulting from the malfunctioning of economic, ecological, cultural and social systems, causing groups of people to lose the capacity to adapt and survive and to live beyond minimum levels of satisfaction of their needs and aspirations. With poverty comes the topic of environmental degradation. As with most issues there is two sides to the story. Many believe that the primary source of wealth is natural resources and that the poor derive their livelihood from “primary economic activities.”  However, the opposing argument states that poverty and the environment share a more complex relationship. They claim that is dependent on the local analysis and if corporations are playing a role.

The Rural areas struggle with poverty for many reasons, one of which being the low levels of resource availability. Unlike urban areas there is little government assistance or transportation which inhibits ones ability to reach out for help or travel to a job. Another challenge they face is that manufacturing has placed heavy emphasis on the use of  fossil fuels which are increasing the atmospheric pollution.

Unlike rural poor, urban poor often has a wide range of resources they can reach out to. However, even though they exist they are much more crowded due to the density of the urban poor population. With the growing population in urban areas they also face an issue of overcrowding. As areas become gentrified they are slowly pushing the poor farther and farther out.

In the article it mentions enabling the poor to gain control over the resources and to capture a larger portion of the potential revenues of them through the development of systems of marketing and payment for environmental services. I was a tad bit confused on this but assume this refers to people in poverty working in the environmental services area. I find this to be a great idea. Giving people that are homeless or in need a job and something to do that is necessary to improve our environment.  If we focused our efforts on sorting recycling or inspection landfills we could prevent unnecessary and hazardous waste. .

This week our mindfulness practice was to color the mandala. I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment. For me art has always been a way to relax, however, I normally opt for starting from scratch. I realized while I was coloring that sometimes in my work the stress of messing up makes it unrelaxing. I noticed this stress was non- existent while coloring the mandala. I believe that by coloring in premade designs I relax just a smidge bit more. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed coloring the mandala and actually ended up getting out my coloring book later in the week. I will most definitely be participating in this for of mindfulness practice more often.

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