Rich or poor, is it just about money?

What is shame? Why do we feel ashamed if we don´t have money? In our society it´s hard to be the one who can´t afford a coffee or to go out with friends. In Libya the food supplies is about to end, according to WFP. I´m not throwing blame around, I´m just curious why it´s such a shame in accepting help here in the “developed” part of the world. I know many people who has needed social help even in Norway. Nobody thinks anybody in Norway needs anything. It´s a rich country. The norwegian government has money, that´s true.

I read an article about the poor families in Oslo, and I cried. There was one single mother who couldn´t afford a bed for her son, so he was sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Ok, compared to the food crisis in Libya and other countries it´s nothing. The teenage boy couldn´t go to birthday parties because they didn´t have money for a present. They would never admit that or use that as the reason not to attend. There was no pictures in the article that showed any faces. Sure, it´s not the end of the world to sleep on a mattress, but it shouldn´t be so filled of shame to be in a hard situation. I wonder if the neighbours showed up with soup or a casserole to support. Probably not, because the mother didn´t want anybody to know they were poor. We live in a so-called “developed” part of the world.

I bet if you ask around, some of your friends probably have money problems, but they don´t want to tell anyone. I got help from the social services at one time, and I thought it was the end of my world, it was horrible to sink so low. That´s how I felt. But WHY? I was lucky to get help.

I also want to cry when I think about my mother-in-law. She is amazing. She grew up in a small village in Portugal with 6 brothers and sisters, has cooked and cleaned since she was 7 years old. Now she gives food away to families around her village if they need. She doesn´t make any money from her farm, she just gives it away. Thank god there´s still people like her.

Maybe prosperity is not only about money, but about allowing others to help without shame?