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October 15, 2008


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Jacki Hollywood Brown

I'm so glad you wrote that it isn't just about the money. There are so many people in the world with excessive material wealth but they are poverty-stricken in the kindness department AND the gratitude department.

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences, it makes us all richer.

Dillon Hendrick

This post made me cry. It was such validation - you expressed in words so many of the thoughts I have had while making my transition from poverty to post college poverty. Thank you, because this is something that no one around understands.

Ariane Benefit

Dillon, your comment made me cry!!! I know - most people don't understand - not to mention that I never really talk about it.

It's so funny that now, when people first meet me, they assume I've always been middle class like them. It STUNS me sometimes the derogatory comments they make about poor people, not to mention about ADD, and about hispanics for that matter(which people can't tell I am unless they hear me speak spanish.)

For all the emotional roller coasters though, it was worth it. Putting up with insensitive people is nothing compared to putting up with being seriously poor.

Keep the Faith...there are others who understand...your success will be a huge platform to help others someday. You don't have to hide where you come from either. What I have found is that the friends I've made being open about it are amazing people. Even if they don't completely understand, it's so awesome to authentically connect with people and not put energy into hiding and shame.

I wish you much success and invite you to stay in touch!

Ariane Benefit

Hey Jackie, Thanks for your note! I appreciate you reading!

Cynthia Friedlob, The Thoughtful Consumer

Thank you for the link to my blog post, Ariane!

Your story is very powerful and you are to be commended for sharing it. It always saddens me to hear (and experience) how often people make judgments about others based on everything from race to religion to financial status. By talking about your personal struggles and your continuing success in dealing with them, you'll inspire so many people.

I feel privileged to have you as a "blogging buddy!" Thanks!

Ariane Benefit

Hi Cynthia, thank you so much for your thoughtful and reassuring words. Funny how sometimes when I'm working on a post like this, I still have this voice that knows there will people who will be turned off and will react negatively. You know, the ones who so easily spout off opinions like "they should quit whining, get a job and work hard like the rest of us"

Hearing back from you and other's who understand and support me writing about my life, and not just my work, is incredibly comforting. Writing this blog has been such a personal growth journey for me. Whenever I get personal I feel so vulnerable - Like I'm jumping off a cliff and praying I won't crash. People like you, Jackie and Dillon, and the Joanna and David over at Joyful Jubilant Learning make it a soft landing. thank you - with all my heart.


Very good points made here, I agree completely with you that poverty is not all about money but about people's mindset and perception. I believe educating people will help greatly in tackling poverty.

Eva Wallace

GREAT post, Ariane! I admire you for being so honest. And brave. My family didn't have a lot when I was growing up - I learned about thrift store shopping in the fifth grade (and still love it!). I think I was very fortunate in that 1) I grew up in Santa Cruz CA where it's cool to be a Bohemian hippie type, and, 2) My mom, no matter how little money she had, always had class. She taught us respect and honor and how to walk in other's shoes. Since then, my husband and I have gone from being business owners to living on food stamps, and back to being self sufficient again. And through it all (thanks to mom) I have been able to relate to everyone along the way. I hope (and think I have) passed that on to my kids.

Thanks for posting this –
:) Eva

Ariane Benefit

@ XC Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your support is appreciated!

@ Eva - What an interesting family background you have! That's so cool that you had someone to teach you class, honor and respect. There really is a difference between being poor and living in poverty "culture". What an experience to have had your own busines and THEN have to go on food stamps and then back again. Bravo to you for never giving up and trying again! Your example is a powerful one. Once you help someone develop empowering skills, faith, hope, and values - they won't be down for long! : )

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