Rising Up From Poverty
Many people know the impact that poverty can have on one’s life. Poverty is a global concern, not specific to those in developing countries. According to GlobalIssues.org, nearly half of the world is living on less than $2.50 a day. That is barely enough money to feed one person. Each person has their own personal reason for living this way, whether it is by choice or not. Even though they have the inability to make a sufficient amount of money, they should also know that there is always a way to rise above this situation and create a better tomorrow for themselves.
Oprah Winfrey, born in a poverty-stricken home in Kosciusko, Mississippi, is now one of the most successful women in the world. Her life has been described as a “Cinderella story,” one of rising from the bottom to the top. Oprah has overcome many obstacles in her life, such as, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, and constantly being sent to live with her father. Her father pushed the importance of education, and with this help Oprah became an honor student. Without the encouragement of Vernon, her father, she might not have prospered into what she has become. Oprah’s mother’s final decision to send her to live her father may have been the best for Oprah. There was a sense of determination within Oprah to have the strength and perseverance it took to surpass the bad and come out on top. Oprah has more than earned her spot as one of the world’s most influential women.
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The Glass Castle, a memoir on the life of Jeanette Walls, shows her life of childhood poverty to becoming a well-known writer and journalist. Jeanette and her family were constantly thrown into situations where they had to find some way of survival; she even stated that “if you don’t want to sink, you better figure out how to swim.” The endless amount of moving the Walls family did must have been very hard on Jeanette, especially at such a young age. She never kept many friends because they were always doing “the skedaddle,” and running away from some new predicament that evolved. Jeanette was forever being made a mockery for the way she lived, her dirt-stained clothes, and for her father being the town drunk.
After years of this verbal, and often physical, abuse she set her mind to move to New York and become a writer. Jeanette Walls quickly prospered in The City. So much that her mother said to her, “Look at the way you live. You’ve sold out,” because Jeanette took the opportunity and embraced New York, and an upper class of living. She had a dream, and she did what it took to make it all happen. Now Jeanette Walls is living Virginia, with her husband John Taylor, as a very prominent American Writer.
Poverty reaches a countless amount of people worldwide. It is a very sad situation that, personally, I do not think anybody deserves. Nevertheless, those who are willing can see the potential inside themselves to overcome their poverty. Just as Oprah Winfrey and Jeanette Walls had the will power to be greater, and to set make a better future than what they were destined.