Mental impoverishment has led individuals and communities to cease recognizing the fullness and the interrelatedness of their given aspirations and talents. We believe that our youth’s pursuit of peace, happiness, and success is about more than the destination, but about the journey. Similarly, more than just a destination, the promised land is a peaceful community that cares for each of its members.
At CityThink, we are determined to help our youth achieve their full potential and build a brighter future. As such, we recognize the various dimensions of poverty’s impact on the mind, body, and soul. We believe our bodies and souls have each been blessed with certain talents that – when brought together with the talents of other individuals – may bring about the peaceful, love-filled, and productive society seemingly only seen in dreams. We believe that we have already been collectively blessed with everything required to make said dreams a reality. However, we understand that there are either circumstances, individuals, or systems that impede this reality by impoverishing their citizens and, thereby, their communities.
What do we mean when we say impoverishment?
To impoverish means “to deprive of strength, richness, or fertility by depleting or draining of something essential.” By this definition, it is clear how to impoverish virtually any person, place, or thing: That is, to deplete or drain it of something essential. In a compromised and impoverished state, the human body – for example – may still achieve excellent success, some of which may be even more impressive than that of certain non-impoverished bodies. However – in sum – the expected life outcomes for the deteriorated, impoverished body are statistically and significantly worse than those of a well-functioning body. Similarly, the expected life outcomes for the deteriorated, impoverished mind are statistically and significantly worse than those of a well-functioning mind.
THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY ON THE MIND
Mental impoverishment has created depressed, violent, and anxious individuals on one hand; and selfish, immoral, and insecure individuals on the other (none of these traits mutually exclusive of the other). We have been consumed with the accumulation of wealth. While too many have been deprived of essential opportunities to make a living, simultaneously, far too many have not been taught the real value of resources. Those are: the opportunities resources provide to build better communities; and the myriad individual and communal benefits that such generational social and educational investment provides.