Life was not easy for many people. There were many difficulties and many of us had to live with these difficulties. People who grew up poor had some unwritten rules of life to keep up with living conditions. Here are 35 people who grew up poor shared unwritten rules of life.
Not really a societal expectation, but more of a familial one. I never once knew how closely my family toed the poverty line, thanks to how my parents ran things. My dad, though, would volunteer me all the time to help friends, family, coworkers in need, if I was able to at all. Never let me ask for a single dollar from them, unless it was explicitly “a job” and for, say, a friend of a friend. I helped his coworker move a handful of times. I cut my elderly neighbor’s grass. I helped so-and-so connect their internet, or a friend of his to replace their carpet.
I had no idea what my old man was fostering in both me and them. When I moved out on my own, his coworker called, offered to help. Showed up with antiques from his late mother as a housewarming gift for my wife and me. The man whose grass I cut? He passed away and left me his piano since he knew I liked to play. The friend with the carpet? Hooked me up with a decent-paying job right out of college. The internet-illiterate ones? Solid mechanics, and know my vehicle inside and out.
He was teaching me something so much more than just an exchange of goods and services. These weren’t I.O.U.s coming due. The man knew the value of community and friendship, and just how far people would go for someone else if they just cared, even an ounce.
It bleeds over in my day-to-day, now, too. I may see someone at the grocery store struggling to find a product, so I take the time to help them out. It costs me only a few minutes, and I may never see them again. Or, I find out the person I helped is the very same one standing behind the counter at the DMV and makes my time just a little bit shorter as a thanks.
TL;DR, my pops taught me the value of kindness.
If your neighbors were in need—you helped them. Like, Mary’s car broke down again, so my brother would go work on her car for free on his day off, and I’d get up extra early all week to drop Mary off at work and get her kids to school. Swing by in my lunch break to grab the kids after school, too. Basically, when folks are in need—you help them, and the same is done in return.
Keep your hair brushed, your clothes clean, and be articulate and polite in all circumstances. We were not going to be ‘trash’ just because we were poor. Also, no wearing ripped jeans, even if it’s the style. We’re not spending money on new pants that look like old worn-out pants.
If you use the oven during winter, when you’re done, leave it cracked so that the heat warms up the rest of the house more.
Always return anything you borrow in better condition. People will be eager to loan you things.
Overall, independence at a young age. But also responsibility. You cook, clean, and pitch in before you are asked. If you’re waiting for an adult to make dinner, you’re going hungry. Also, poor doesn’t mean dirty. You keep what you have nice, clean, and well cared for.
Seriously, I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything in the world.
People actually order take-out food like every night. I still think that’s mad.
Literally once or twice a year for us growing up.
My parents where great at hiding that we where poor. They made sure we always had christmas presents and a birthday present. And we would order pizza at christmas. All our clothing came from other relatives or charity shops. But when i started working full time and went to live on my own? Just then i realized truth that we poor. But still looking back i have never had the feeling of being left out when it came too other childeren. And i still thank them for it.
And now all the kids have moved out? There the most generous and loving grandparents you could wish for a kid.
But the biggest lessen i have learned is help others out. So every time i have something that i don’t use or want? I give it away for free. Every time my daughter go’s up a size in clothes? I give the old clothes to a charity that helps people with childeren who can’t afford it. And it gives me a great feeling ever single time i do it.
I grew up in a trailer. In fourth grade, a girl was having a birthday party and needed addresses for invitations. The next day she told me her parents uninvited me because I lived in the trailer. That was a new thing I learned I was supposed to be embarrassed about.
I guess just expecting to have to deal with other people’s sh**ty parents sometimes.
You never brought the field trip permission slips home because you knew better than to make your mom feel guilty she couldn’t pay the $5-20 fee to let you go.