Spoiler: I’m gonna be a little more vulnerable than usual with this post.
I recently wrote a book on poverty. I believe it’s a book God wanted me to write, and I believe it’s a book God wants me to promote. In addition, I believe God wants me to do what I can to end poverty here in the United States.
But I find myself hesitating.
I hesitate because I hate politics. Yes, I do have strong political opinions, but I mostly keep them to myself. I’m capable of arguing my point with anybody, but I don’t enjoy doing that; I don’t want to do it. In politics, people tend to retreat to their own armed camp and their own echo chambers. In those places, we don’t learn, we don’t grow, we don’t change. We just hate each other. And I hate that.
Nevertheless, I believe God wants me to say something to this country about poverty—to offer a different perspective that most people haven’t considered.
To do that, I’ve had to share my own struggles with poverty. That’s uncomfortable. Many reasons. I’m self employed. To share that I’m currently living below the poverty line is like holding up a big fat sign that says, “Don’t do business with me. Don’t buy anything I sell. I’m clearly not worth it.”
In our culture—maybe in every culture—poverty sets me apart as an inferior male, undesirable, inadequate. I don’t “have what it takes.” I no longer believe those things about myself, but it’s a big hurdle to overcome when you’re trying to build a reputation.
My poverty begs the question: Dwight, why are you poor? (The unspoken questions are: Are you stupid? Or are you lazy? Or are you both?) And I really don’t have an answer to that question other than to say, No, I’m not stupid, and no, I’m not lazy.
And finally, I hesitate because people who have known me for a long time have seen me write many books and try many things. Somehow, I imagine them saying, “Here’s another one of Dwight’s crazy schemes.” I feel like it’s been a long, long time since many of them have taken me seriously about anything.
So, yeah. It’s scary for me to press forward with this. But I’m gonna do it anyway. I’m gonna do my best to push through the no’s until I get to enough yes’s so we can get some momentum going. Even though I’m afraid.
PS. If you want to know more about this, you can visit WeWillEndPoverty.com