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Romanticizing poverty is a really bad coping mechanism

Everyone wants to enjoy their life. Most, if not all people, dream of having certain things that would make them happy. Some dream to be rich, have a loving family, and be able to do almost anything they want. 

But while some do finally achieve their dreams, others get still left behind in life. The latter often finding themselves contemplating about life and being pushed to believe that what they have is enough. There are those who say that living poor is even better because of the simplicity of life, but that has to be an absurd idea, don’t you think?

A Facebook post was recently shared on the social media platform Reddit and is found in the r/Philippines subreddit. The post contains a screenshot with a photo of a family inside a car and another family riding a motorcycle with the caption “Yong kahit simple lang ang buhay niyo pero masaya. Aanhin mo ang maraming kayamanan kung di ka naman masaya.” (That feeling when you live a simple life but you’re still happy. Being rich means nothing if you’re unhappy.)

We’ve been able to trace the actual post on Facebook, and here it is:

Redditors took to the comments section to discuss the matter, with some poking fun at the idea at overthinking the message of the image:

One Redditor also noticed how it’s become a recurring theme on social media for about a month now already:

Redditors shone a spotlight at the danger of this theme:



But whether this really is a coping mechanism or not, it needs to stop. Romanticizing poverty, or being poor, is not at all okay. 

If one were to think that they’re content with the way they’re living which is full of suffering and probably no permanent residence and no regular food on the table, they would be talking crazy. If you’re struggling to get out of poverty and feel content with it, that’s not happiness, that’s simply conforming to living poor. 

There is a reason that people work hard, and that’s to have a stable source of income and to be able to live a decent life. Achieving those two goals is hard enough for the ordinary person. If one’s hard work leads to them bettering their lives, that is worth more merit than simply giving up. 

This has become a common mindset for many Filipinos lately and has become a coping mechanism for them along with uttering the lines “masarap maging mahirap” (it feels better to be poor), which seems absurd. There is nothing nice about struggling to put food on the table, or struggling to pay bills.

Every socio-economic class experiences their own hardships. It’s never easy even for the rich so why should you remain in poverty? Money can’t buy happiness, but poverty can’t buy you anything you need, as some Redditors have pointed out. 

Another interesting take from the comments is how Philippine television shows could also play a part in this mindset.

Philippine shows do have a common theme of rags to riches where the poor protagonist often gets revenge on the rich antagonist and they would eventually find wealth themselves. 

This does leave a bad impression that the rich are arrogant and greedy while the poor are the oppressed ones and that gaining riches is simply bad so they shouldn’t even try to earn a lot of money. 

But whatever the real cause for these thoughts are, people should stop treating living poor as a “simple life” and treat it for what it really is: a reality that a lot of people are experiencing and should be eradicated.

Featured photo: Canva

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