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Reflection 3

               The myth that resonated with me from the article was the first one saying that poor countries are doomed to stay poor.  We hear this statement a lot in the world today.  People have this egocentric idea that they are better than everyone else and that these other countries should follow in their footsteps.  In order to break out of poverty each country needs to focus on its own individual strengths and how to make them stand out.  I really liked the line where Bill Gates says, “But it is fair to say that the world has changed so much that the terms “developing countries” and “developed countries” have outlived their usefulness" (Gates, 2014).  This statement is breaking down the stigma associated with poor countries.  If the country you live in is labeled developing, then you are automatically assumed to be poor.  That is not the case anymore.  Gates talks about how countries like China and Brazil have bridged the gap between rich and poor.  He mentions the idea that we should start referring to countries by their income levels.  I definitely agree with this idea because it pushes those that really are poor and need help to the forefront.  It also allows for those countries that have made progress to show off their improvement by gaining a different economic label.

                I truly feel that this myth applies to Optimist Park.  The neighborhood was built as a place for the old mill workers to live so they would not have to commute very far to work. In the seventies, Habitat for Humanity came in and built houses on all of the available lots in the neighborhood.  The history of the neighborhood has branded it with the label of poor/low income.  Its’ violent past has also put a negative stigma to the name Optimist Park.  People in Charlotte do not believe that this neighborhood can improve itself.  The labels it has acquired over the years have led important local authorities to think that the neighborhood will never be able to lift itself out of this perceived poverty state.  This is certainly not true though.  Many people in Optimist Park have jobs or are retired.  They are working very hard to maintain a sense of community with the influx of residents who come in and out every year.  They are trying very hard to lift the negative stereotypes off the community and with a little help from the city, plus surrounding neighborhoods, I think people will realize what a wonderful place it truly is.


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