having little or no money, goods, or other means of support:
the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence.
The word "poor" has been misused quite often because we are so privileged here in America that a lot of us feel that the slightest set back puts us in a state of poverty. The U.S. government defines the poverty line as living with an income of $22,314 for a family of 4, and $11,134 for an individual. So the next time any of us feels tempted to complain about our salaries we should remember that there are millions of American's, some of whom are our friends and neighbor's, who can't make ends meet, and have no meat to eat. Some due to circumstance, some due to ignorance, and some due to lack of opportunity. Being poor does not just refer to a lack of finances, it also means having a lack of information, having little or no support system, being uninformed, and lacking access to a network that opens doors and provides opportunity. We all know people who are gainfully employed because their mother knew someone, or a cousin already worked there, or a friend's friend who knew another friend, got them an interview. But if there is no connection, nepotism or referral, then what? Some of the things that we take for granted are the very things that keep us above the poverty line. Things like being able to prepare for an interview. Having proper business attire, having a good resume', or a resume' period. Both of which can be fairly expensive, and then there is the cost of transportation. Whenever I get upset about rising gas prices and having to put another $75 in gas in my SUV, I drive past a bus stop, see 10 or 12 impatient people waiting, and I thank God for not only blessing me with a vehicle, but for blessing me with the means to buy gas no matter what the price. The fact is, not everyone has the means, and not everyone has alternatives that will allow them to stay above water. There may not be someone they can ask for a loan or a helping hand. Not everybody can borrow against the equity in their home because they may not own a home. Better employment may not be easy to obtain if there is no access to a computer. While you may worry about stretching your last little bit of money until pay day, many American's don't have a pay day to depend on or look forward to. So the next time you try to figure out how to put that brand new pair of shoes in your budget, even though you have 3 other perfectly good pairs in your closet, or you try to decide which restaurant to patronize this weekend, remember a lot of people wish that they could be in your shoes, literally.