Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty

This is a subject that we all pretend to be very concerned about. Pretend to ourselves that is, I would never accuse my audience of pretending outwards!
The other day I was standing with a lady friend discussing casually various things including the weather and the vagaries of our professors when a clearly destitute person came up to us and asked us whether we could help him out to get a meal: I have spent a year in the USA and should be ideally used to people speaking in English, but even now, a beggar speaking in English is striking and stands out…but I digress.
I pulled out a quarter from my pocket and gave it to him: that was all I was going to spare, besides, this was being given to get rid of him: my mind spun to the same old cliches, he seems able bodied, why can’t he work for a living?
Upon some sensitive reflection, I realized just how shallow I was being. True, this person seemed like he could do a hard days work; but do we think it is that easy to get a job in this world? The ubiquity of poverty has numbed us to its effects. If we look at it objectively, the only thing we will see is its horrible spectre. Annie orphan had some choice optimistic things to say about poverty during the great depression in the US, but those comments suit the visage of a twelve year old with very little real world experience. In reality, some cynicism should temper the blank optimism that is being touted as the mantra for success.
Again, discussing poverty does nothing to any of us except maybe guilt us into donating a dollar this week or something, and while that will benefit some poor homeless person, it is not something that will gather force or pass a tipping point in our war over poverty.
Que bono or who benefits is an important question to be addressed when understanding the cause of something. Now, one can debate the reasons for the birth of poverty ad nauseam, and it would not serve any purpose. What we do need to discuss is who benefits from the perpetuation of poverty.
As far as poverty is concerned, there needs to be some more awareness about it.
The idea behind this post is that 15th Oct has been declared Blog Action Day – 08, where all bloggers talk about poverty; in the hope that more than anything else, it would feature in our minds more often. Let’s do all we can.

4 thoughts on “Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty

  1. Very well written! Touching!‘Work For Food’, ‘Need Groceries’,’Hungry, please help!’,’Help a homeless man, and find your slot in heaven’ – Some placards that I see almost everyday, not far from the campus! After all the talk about being the world’s most powerful nation, this is how 37 million of its citizens live! Sad, but true!

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