The Language of Poverty

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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The Language of Poverty


There is a wonderful article in this morning’s local newspaper. The headline is “The Language of Poverty.” It is written by a local reporter and it is well done. The subject matter and the source of information both inspirational. I will probably quote much of the article here and it can speak for itself.

Dr. Ruby K. Payne was in town to speak to the annual Healthy Communities Summit – a local affair began several years ago as a part of the Missouri Quality Initiative. Dr. Payne has a PhD. in fancy-pants stuff that escapes me – but her message of understanding the language of class was loud and clear.

People can say we are poor, but we always have enough to eat. And if you’re poor it is always about quantity, so if you want to show somebody you love them, you cook for them,” Dr. Payne said.

The article by Alonzo Weston goes on, “Compare that to the middle class, where it’s more about quality than quantity. In fact, there’s enough quantity to force some people to go on diets, she said. With the wealthy it’s more about presentation.

“Is it artistically presented? Did it go with the theme? Did it have aesthetic appeal?

“The thing about poverty is it’s like race: You always experience it first on a very personal level, and the only way you really change the thinking is when yo meet people who are different than you are who you have a relationship with and you start to think about how they do things and how you do things , she said.”

This is just very good social commentary. It is very helpful in understanding the ‘class warfare’ of the ignorant (both rich and poor.)

I would like to recommend further material by Dr. Payne:


A Framework for Understanding Poverty

Bridges out of Poverty

Crossing the Tracks for Love

There are so many bright and thoughtful people out there who work in a reasonable and caring manner to improve civilization. It warms my heart to have faith again that not all people are extreme moralists.


There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves…Will Rogers, American Comedian.

See Also: On Family Life

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  1. Pleasant read. Thanks!

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