“Whether believers or not, we are agreed today that the earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.” (Laudato Si, #93)
Intergenerational poverty is driven by societal systems that perpetuate inequalities between those with accumulated wealth and those without accumulated wealth. For example, when a child is born into poverty, s/he will likely have less access to quality education, health care, and work opportunities than a child born into a wealthy family. When those with accumulated wealth are spatially separated from those without – in urban vs rural areas; in suburbs and inner-cities; in neighborhoods, such as Carlette’s referral to the Southside of Belize City – one’s environment becomes a show of status, again affecting generations to come. In Belize, poorer families are forced to the swampy margins of society to settle; while wealthier families live in well-maintained and developed homes in the city.
Consider your own city, town, or neighborhood. Do children born in your area inherit accumulated wealth, or accumulated oppression? Speak with a friend today about factors that allow people in your area to thrive – i.e. access to clean water, fresh food, sanitation, education. If these factors were removed, how would it affect the livelihood of people in your area for years to come?
Meditate on today’s reflection as you listen to sounds from the Belizean rain forest. Click on the link below, then click on the “play” button, which looks like a white arrow on a red background.