Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blog Action Day Poverty

First, thank you all for your comments and concern for Luna. We are on day three of her medication. Yesterday was really tough and I went to bed without much hope for a good outcome in the morning. This morning she greeted me from her bed, sitting up waiting to go out. We still have a long way to go, but it was a glimmer of hope. She has acted a bit more like the puppy she is this morning, walking around the yard sniffing at things. Walking up and down the stairs. Even a bit of a greeting for the cats. She complained a lot about the shots this morning, also an improvement over yesterday. So, we face the day with a bit more hope in our hearts.

Yesterday was Blogger Action Day. We were all supposed to write about poverty from the perspective of our blog. I thought a lot about it, but didn't get anything written. Last night, while watching the debate, it was an issue that kept bubbling up as I filtered the political babble from the candidates looking for answers. This morning I read through the comments that had come in last night, and was struck by Jack-of-all-thumbs comment on my last post. These boys I work with in Cub Scouts are a prime example of poverty and how our approach to the problem has failed.

When we say poverty some images come to mind along with some feelings. We see dirty, people, unable to get enough to eat, or otherwise meet their basic needs. We feel guilt, and helplessness. We build programs that try to address some of the symptoms of poverty, pouring lots of money and time into hunger and nutrition programs, training programs, etc. We have been doing it for years, and poverty hasn't gone away. Why? Because these people have no value. To each of us they, or more specifically their condition, is a problem. The best of us want to do something about the problem, but if we don't solve it, it doesn't really impact our lives that much. Poverty doesn't exist in groups where every member of the group is a valued member, and their existence in the group makes life better for everyone. WE all live such isolated lives, interacting with people who are completely replaceable. Some of them we like. We even have a few that we are very emotionally bonded to. But, if that person was removed from our world we would find a replacement quite quickly. The job, service, product, etc is what has value in our lives not the people. Changing that mindset, that way of living, that level of interdependence, would go a long way toward changing the face of poverty in our world.

2 comments:

Barbee' said...

Well said, Alan. And thank you for the update on Luna. I kept thinking of her all day yesterday as I worked in the garden.

nancybond said...

Well said, indeed. And I echo Barbee's sentiment about Luna -- I'm thrilled to bits that there is slight improvement. I hope it continues.

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