Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 : Poverty

This post is part of Blog Action Day 2008. The idea is to have many voices talking about one issue at the same time to build awareness. I wrote this post as a stream of consciousness on what I think about poverty and I wholeheartedly welcome discussion in the comments about what I have to say.

When I think abut poverty, the first thing I think about is starving children in Africa. I think about countries that are so poor that their children are born already in debt. I think about people unable to feed or clothe their families, or people that have no access to clean water.

Then when I think more, I start to think about the United States, and then I think of desperation. I think of people who are really very rich by world standards, but who consider themselves to be so poor that they become desperate. They are not starving. They still have cars, jobs, or food. Maybe they have to forgo a vacation, or they need to downsize their house, but they aren't fighting for survival.

Poverty, to me, is a global issue, and it is unbalanced. I think that many people are richer than they think they are. But then, there are those who have no homes and are living on the street. Those who are denied basic necessities due to their lack of wealth are poor.

But in that respect, in the US, does that mean that everyone without health insurance or access to proper healthcare is poor?

A right to medicine, isn't that a basic need? Or does it really get limited to food and shelter.

Some people who are homeless do not consider themselves poverty stricken. They have food, and sometimes shelter. To you or me, they might seem poor... but not to them.

So lets get back to poverty as an issue. I think we're talking about developing nations where there is no clean water, little food and shelter, no clothes or shoes, and where children die every day of preventable illnesses. Places where people are starving to death every day. Places where children have no education, where schools are as rare as hospitals. Those are the places where I think we should turn our eye today. Those are the people that really need help, and I think that many of us are in a position to help them. I think that if everyone denied themselves one small thing and gave that to a person in a developing nation, it could really make a difference in a persons life. 

You can even give a little of your time instead of something tangible.


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