I learned about poverty not in India or China or Ethiopia, but in De-troit, personally, as a young adult. There were years of not enough, not enough food, not enough heat, not enough of many of the things my friends had. There were five of us, raised by our father, living in a small two-bedroom house. There was no car, no phone, and sometimes little or no food. At times the family dog would be so weak that her legs wobbled. A piece of bread with butter and sugar was the afternoon fare for dog and siblings alike. Food stamps and social security were the lifeline to at least getting up in the morning and going to school. But even the social security checks went mostly for the bottles of wine that sustained my father’s addiction. For a whole year the electric frying pan was used for cooking and for heating the water to bathe in. Poverty, as it turns out, can be a strange motivator.