John Steinbeck on the Kindness of the Poor

I found this quote from John Steinbeck over on the Tumblr site 1000 Natural Shocks. (Over 18s only, I’m afraid). It’s a great quote, from one of the true titan of modern American literature.

Steinbeck Poor Help

It isn’t invariably true, but traditionally the poor have been more sympathetic to those in need, and had greater self-help networks in the form of friends and neighbours, who were prepared to help out, than the rich. One of my aunts grew up during the Great Depression. Her father was a staunch socialist of very left-wing views, who did take tramps back home to share a meal with himself and his family. I’ve heard of others doing the same as well.

Even now, findings indicate that the poor are more likely to give a greater part of their income to charity than the rich. It’s possibly one of the reasons, although it’s rarely mentioned or discussed, there are many victims of good, bourgeois, upper middle class homes who rebel and try to be working class. And its one of the reasons that the long, Neoliberal campaign to smash working class pride and communities is so despicable.

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2 Responses to “John Steinbeck on the Kindness of the Poor”

  1. Michelle Thomasson Says:

    Seeing that quote for real – in a large supermarket not far from where I live the foodbank baskets are nearly always full yet they are very regularly emptied (I know the kind man who oversees the nearest Foodbank he is phoned and asked to collect when it’s brimming over), the supermarket has a less than affluent demographic on the edge of Gloucester. Then there’s another ‘posher’ supermarket in a wealthy area of Cheltenham where the foodbank baskets usually have very little in them, no matter what time of day I pop in.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I can very well believe that, Michelle. There was an article in the Bristol Evening Post about a decade or more ago, which reported that it was the poorest parishes in Bristol that gave the most to charity. As for the foodbanks, my parents usually buy stuff to give to them. While they were looking around their local ASDA, they bumped into a young Muslim woman doing the same an act of charity and kindness that doesn’t fit with the image Trump and people like him are trying to promote of Muslims.

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