Friday, July 01, 2005

The Fight against Poverty

On the news today, Armoede de Wereld Uit (Poverty the world out) or in other words, it's a day dedicated to remembering the fight against poverty. On the map, they show all the countries in blue, only a third of the earth's nations are rich countries, the rest are poor. Talk about an unequal distribution of wealth.

On the tube, children talk about a poverty that they cannot yet begin to understand. How do you explain poverty to a people who have always had the luxury of running water, to a people who have never had to worry about not being able to go to the doctor or not being able to buy necessary medications? How does one begin to portray a poverty that knows children curling up into sleep in order to deny the rumblings of their empty stomachs?

To allow the youth to recognize that there are people on another continent, in another world who go without shoes all year, and who have to beg for their bread, is surely an action worthy of emulation. Perhaps the key towards the eradication of poverty lies in awakening the consciousness of the young, in touching these young minds and making them aware of the disparity, the social and economic unequality that exists, between the first world nations and the nations of the third world.

I try to imagine, what progress my homecountry would make if instead of letting the poor bear the brunt of economic depression, the rich came forward to help shoulder this burden. The picture is enough to blow my mind.

Perhaps, if we learned to look at things in the light of eternity, perhaps then the value that we place on our possessions and our properties will change.


I do recognize that this cure seems so simplistic. In the end, it will take a lot more than this to overcome poverty. I suppose that it has always been a problem and will continue to remain a problem. In the ideal world, there would be no poor, there would be no children going to bed hungry, there would be no child robbed of education or of his dreams or of his future. In the ideal world, everyone would have the same chances, the same privileges, the same opportunities. The problem is, we don't live in an ideal world. We just have to accept that we live in a flawed world and we have to learn to live in it together.


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