If you have ever seen “The Greyhound Diaries” by Doug Levitt, which comes highly recommended, you will notice something very interesting. It is the disparity between what statistics will tell you, and what those people behind statistics will show you. The Greyhound Diaries is all about the chronicling of the people in America who technically fall into the poverty category. The statistics will show you all the numbers involved, but Doug Levitt will show you the human faces that make those statistics.
When you see the difference between the numbers and the human condition those numbers represent, you will see the importance of it all. Roughly 50 million Americans qualify as living in poverty, but what does that really mean? Unless you are living in poverty yourself or have daily access to those who are, all you know is what the numbers tell you. Which isn’t much when you consider what poverty does to people. Without the money that others have who are not living under the poverty line have, they do not have access to adequate healthcare. Or the types transportation that make getting to and from work easy. Or the modern technology that so many of us take for granted.
Living under the poverty line puts you in somewhat of a different world than others, even though we all share the same country. A country that the rest of world sees as modern and privileged, is a country that Doug Levitt shows as socio-economically diverse. Diverse to the degree that many of us right here in America do not want to accept. We choose to look the other way, and that’s a shame. To quote John Mellencamp, “We shame ourselves to watch people like this live”.Watch The Greyhound Diaries though and you will see a certain kind of passion in the people Doug showcases. That passion for surviving is borne out of necessity, and it creates a life that is real. You will see no posturing, grandstanding or petty conversations on a Greyhound bus. You don’t have the time to waste of things like that when all your time is taken in just getting by.
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