Tag Archives: Chaos

A landmark study

Stress in low-income families can affect children’s learning

I am very excited about this.

This is, as far as I know, the first study to attempt to measure the degree of chaos in the home.

The researchers in an earlier-mentioned study (Related:  Poor children have smaller brains) speculated that “poor families tend to live more chaotic lives, and that stress could inhibit healthy brain development.”  The current study seems to indicate that it is directly so.

As of this writing, my hypothesis has become as follows:  the chaos of a growing child’s environment causes comparatively more resources to be devoted to the limbic system and less to the cerebral cortex, resulting in a body with reduced capacity to learn.

Related:  A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY
Related: Chaos overwhelms the poor
Related: Wisdom teaching in poor black homes

(Originally posted 2015-07-08; reblogged 10/13/16.)

A case on point about choosing thoughts, feelings

From my diary for Friday 2015-05-01:

Ta-Nehisi Coates has had two “provocative” HuffPost columns in two days.  Wednesday she decried calls for calm in Baltimore.  Yesterday she used the incident of Toya Graham’s confrontation of her son, to blame white people for every incident of violence among blacks.  [P.S. 12:00.  Correction: The latter was by Stacey Patton.] I may yet respond to the latter, but it’s best I not do so today.  I need to direct my thoughts and choose my feelings, and I feel immeasurably better when I focus on my own affairs than when I allow myself to get engaged with her turmoil.  Today’s task is to prepare materials for the prayer course; and it will be no excuse if I tell my students I came unprepared because she distracted me.

Originally posted 2015-05-02.

“How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty”

“[T]he uprising in Ferguson was an inevitable reaction to the institutional racism coursing through the area for decades.” — Jack Kirkland

I’m homeless.  At this writing, I’ve been homeless for exactly 3½ years.

When you meet a homeless man for the first time, you won’t notice his skin color.  Not first.  You’ll notice the condition he’s in.  You’ll notice his clothes, his grooming, his conduct.  Skin color is so far down the list, it might as well be left off completely.

Some disagree. They seem to think race is the only factor in poverty.

Continue reading “How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty”

A simple lesson

(Originally posted June 22, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 2014-09-10.)

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Continue reading A simple lesson

Choosing chaos

The problem isn’t that the system’s white.
The problem is that it’s a system at all.

I first meant to title this, “Choosing disorder,” but settled on using a word that’s a bit more edgy, and consistent with my past vocabulary.

There are interesting relationships among some words. Continue reading Choosing chaos

Chaos overwhelms the poor

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor