Subject: Poverty
Date: 27 Feb 2017

To anyone ready to make a difference,

In my British Literature class, I had to read “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. This story discusses the plights of French peasantry before and during the French Revolution. These plights included things like starvation, disease, and exile. Almost all of this relates directly back to poverty, which is exactly what I’m here to discuss. This issue is a common theme throughout the novel, most accurately portrayed by three specific quotes. The first quote is easily the most famous quote in the entire novel: the first sentence of the book, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” (pg. 7). The second quote is talking about a homeless man on the streets, “The hungry man gnawed one of his fingers as he looked at the other three, and his finger quivered with the craving that was on him.” (pg. 174). Finally, the third quote is the last sentence in the book, “‘It is a far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’” (pg. 380).

I specifically chose this topic because I notice it to be a very prominent part of society, and one that needs to be taken care of. Poverty is so common in today’s society that schools feel the need to have free and reduced meal programs for students whose families have too low of an income to afford meals for their children. I have many friends that are a part of these programs, and worse. I have friends that have been evicted from their homes due to not having enough money to make payments. I have seen friends and fellow church members that didn’t have enough money to live on their own at all, and instead were having the church provide them a place to live. The worst part about it all is that the people receiving this care were taking advantage of it and doing nothing to help themselves. Now I’m not saying it is a good idea to help people that are too lazy to do anything themselves, but I am saying that if we can get them started on the right path, maybe people will start to see hope and want to help themselves.

This letter is directed toward the people who have the resources to help the people that don’t have resources. These are the people capable of stopping poverty, and the people I want to encourage to do so. According to statistics, at least 80% of humans live on less than $10 a day. This means that they are living day to day on only what food and clothing they can buy for $10. This could change if people were willing to help by donating a small amount of money, and providing advice on how to save and invest their money. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs like Ryan Blair and Richard Branson came from poverty. I would recommend the book “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: The story of how I went from gang member to multimillionaire entrepreneur” by Ryan Blair to learn more about this. I also read an article saying that Donald Trump’s budget plan could involve huge budget cuts for the rich, and project cuts for the poor. This could cause poverty to become more prominent in America, which is why we need to take action now.

I am writing this letter to encourage people to take action and start making a difference. Poverty isn’t going to fix itself, and if we let it, things will only get worse. The novel “A Tale of Two Cities” shows us what happens when no one makes an effort to solve poverty. Don’t let history repeat itself.