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Thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate your honesty and the reminder of how people can change.

My perspective on poverty was shaped by two and a half years in the Peace Corps in Africa where I learned two things: 1) Not having much stuff doesn't necessarily make you poor (In fact, I came home more alert to the spiritual poverty in the US); and 2) much of the world's poverty is not the result of laziness or poor individual choices. It's clear to me that I got much more out of that experience than I gave anyone else.