How Will You be Affected, Poverty A Stark Reality

Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestati...

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Community has been a frequent topic of my discussions here lately.  It is something that we all have, and hopefully are trying to build, and improve.  There is a face, sometimes hidden in the shadows of just about every community.  A face marked and mapped by the burdens, unfamiliar  and completely inconceivable to  most of us.  A burden that weighs heavily on those afflicted with its discouraging plight.  A painful social existence,  that we as a community, all to often wish to forget, push aside, or paint out of our mental portrait of  life.  


Today, October 15 th 2008, is Blog Action Day-Poverty.   The goal is to  promote the awareness of, and find new ways of brining an eventual end to poverty.  9,394 blogs from all over the world have signed up to participate, as of the time I wrote this post.  Many more will sign up before  its all said and done.  Currently there will be an  estimated 10,612,112  people who will read about, and perhaps be inspired to do something, any little thing to help fight poverty.


Poverty is something that many of us will never experience or even come close to fully understanding.  We worry about the current state of our economic dilemma.  Concerned  about what will happen if the situation takes yet another turn for the worse.  Worried for our own wellbeing and stability, and that of our our families.   Yet right under our noses, many time just around the corner, are people who are already, suffering that plight.  An embarrassing, demeaning situation, for those who find themselves suddenly impoverished.  Poverty  resulting  from any number of causes, that boggle the  imagination.  Proud people who want only to help themselves, and generally not wanting to, or too proud to ask for help.  People like you and me, trying to take that one little step forward, in an attempt to extricate themselves from their predicament.  Many times feeling as though all they accomplish is to slide even deeper, into a seemingly bottomless quagmire.  I can imagine no greater suffering and perhaps shame, than not being able to give your children shelter, food, or the simple feeling of security and stability.


We as a community, and each of us individually, can do any number of things to help relieve the strain and worry of those living in poverty.    We can donate food to churches and community shelters who feed and shelter those in need.  How many extra blankets do you have in your house that you will never or seldom use, why not donate them?  Do you have some old coats, clothes, or shoes that you or your kids have outgrown, or don’t use?  Why not donate them to a local coat drive.  For those that are willing, a person can donate their time to the community shelters, and help those in need.  How many times have you seen a person standing on the side of the road holding a sign that says “will work for food”.  let them mow your lawn, and keep their pride.  They don’t want to beg or get something for nothing.   I can understand that, its a sense of pride that is hard to let go of.  We have a choice of where we buy our groceries and other necessities.   Support those businesses that support the hungry, homeless, and impoverished.

There are even more serious sufferings caused by poverty in other places all over the globe.  Many third world countries that have no societal or government structure to help them.  Even the smallest donation to any number of charities like Feed The Children or UNICEF can help people in those countries. 

According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

Corruption is one of the major causes of poverty in these nations.  We have all heard of the suffering and strife in places such as Zimbabwe, or the Iraq food for oil sanctions .   We need to find ways to make our voice heard, loud and clear, so we may possibly influence the governments of the world to step in and make some positive changes.


While doing what we can for the problems at home, we can not forget that some times there is far greater suffering all over the globe.  Let us set aside our own worries for just a little while, and lend our voice to those who are trying to make a difference world wide.  You can also make a donation by clicking on the widget at the Blog Action Day 2008-Poverty web site,  just click here to donate.  Or check out their other fundraising efforts, you might want to take part in.  You can also go to Thoughts From a Sometimes Desperate Housewife, simply read her post, and when you leave a comment, $1.00 will be donated to the cause.  Lets get her as many comments as we can.  It does not have to be anything fancy, just leave a comment, maybe thank her for taking part.


Blog Action Day 2008– Poverty , is an important effort, that we can all be proud of taking part in.   If you have a blog, share in the effort, write an article, and promote Blog Action Day – Poverty 2008.  Its a simple thing we all can do to improve our world, and costs  nothing but a little time.  We have a voice, even the small newbie blogger like me, lets make it heard around the world.


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maggie's mind said...

Such an important reminder. Right now things are so tough for so many. It's heartbreaking when the food pantries are seeing an increase in need even for those who are working because they simply are not making enough money to eat or to feed the family. Things seem really scary right now, but I understand that our kind of poor here is still quite different compared to poor in other places.

Lilly's Life said...

Eric that was a truly FANTASTIC post. Very genuinely said. Thank you very much for sharing this. Great cause and I will head over to the Blog Action Day 2008 to donate.

The Grandpa said...

Great post, Eric. Thank you.

LceeL said...

Well done you.

my3sons said...

Great post.

ShawnD said...

I'm going to promote the website and do what I can to help out on my Shawn's Reflections on Life blog and do an article on what poverty is to me and what it used to be. Thanks for the inspiration Eric.

Vixen said...

Great reminder and very well written. I am barely above the poverty level myself, but I sure can go comment. Happy Wednesday, Eric.

redchair said...

Great post and huge problem for all of us to consider.

Eric S. said...

@ Maggie, Things are looking pretty bad, but I just keep reminding myself there are people suffering far worse than I am. Hopefully we can get things back on track, and help those who are impoverished.

@ Lilly, thank you, I just had to join the effort. Last I heard there were over 11,000 blogs who have joined their voices.

@ The Grandpa, thank you.

@ Lou, Thank you.

@ my3sons, thank you

@ Shawn, Very good Shawn the more who shout, hopeyfull the who will listen.

@ Vixen, Thank you, you bet a comment will help, And I'm right there with you.

@ Vikki, Thank you, it is indeed a problem, but I have been reading some great posts with amazing ideas. Hopefully progress will be made

AngelBaby said...

This is just wonderful. We should all find ways to help other people, especially now. Thank you for sharing this.

Love and Blessings,

June Saville said...

Well said Eric. I work with a volunteer support group for carers and families of people with a mental illness. About one in four people suffer mental illnes at some time in their lives - and many others are affected: families, employers, friends, other taxpayers etc etc.
One episode of a serious mental illness can mean someone is behind the eight ball for years afterwards. Relationships, jobs, educational opportunities, accommodation and financial stability are often lost in a moment. Blame is no part of poverty.
June in Oz

Eric S. said...

@ AngelBaby, You are so right, we should do all we can to help.

@ June, Thanks. You have had some pretty interesting experiences I bet. The mental heath field is pretty varied. Your right, it only takes one or two things to go wrong, and a person will be subjugated to years of poverty.

Liara Covert said...

Thinking about abundance and expressing love is a way to create more of that. Problems are grounded in human perception. You can choose to believe identifying them is a step toward solving them and choosing to grow. Some people believe that without problems, you would cease to exist. You choose what to think, create, feel and whether you will react or respond.

Liara Covert said...

You can view poverty as a kind of lack in others or a lack in yourself. Your view of poverty invites you to look at the nature of and reasons for your judgement. For example, why does the structure of another country necessarily have to be structured or run like yours? This assumes one way of doing is better than another. If you assume all ways of thinking and doing are equal, then you would not impose your opinions of right and wrong, rich and poor, or encourage people to change. You would accept them as they are and accept yourself fully.

When you view someone as poor, you do so based on your own values. When you think someone else lacks essentials, what are you really saying to yourself? They are lacking your view of what is necessary or desirable. This goes beyond satisfying basic human needs. This actually helps to explain historic and contemporary forms of dictatorship, imperialism and how one country's secret service enters other countries to provoke internal coups, wars and conflicts because they are unable to accept another person's way.

I choose to share an eye-opening story: One day a father and his rich family took his young son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son,

"How was the trip?" Very good, Dad!" "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Yeah!" "And what did you learn?"

The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon. When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless.

His son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!" Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life, you've got everything!

You can't buy any of these things. You can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!

Eric S. said...

Liara, first off, I don't think any one way of government is any better than another, mine included. Second off, I don't consider children starving so much that they appear as hollow eyed skeletons, and living in such filth and sewer laden camps, as a perception. It is a reality, and no children should have to suffer so.

I am not trying to say that some people who choose to live on the streets, or other areas that are "different" are living in poverty. I am simply trying to point out, that those who have lost their jobs, homes, and means of feeding their family need help. If they don't want it that's fine, and I would never force my ideas on someone else. I do not and never will consider myself to be better than, or better off than any other person.

The whole purpose of Blog Action Day was to bring to the forefront, the sufferings of those who have no control of what has happened to them. Those who have fallen on bad times, or suffering under the corrupt governments that are prevalent all over the world. Hopefully to help generate more help to feed, house, and educate those who need and want such assitance.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
Sorry to have taken me this long to make my trek to your blog. Life got in a way as usual. This is a very powerful post you've written about poverty. I know what poverty means. I lived in poverty most of my life in the Philippines after my father died when I just turned 7. One of these days I'll write my memoir and write about it there, but not in this limited form.

A few years after my arrival in this country, hubby and I have been donating to charity organizations. What started as a few, mushroomed to several dozens. It got to the point that it became so uncontrollable, donating at least over $300.00 a month because I just couldn't say no to any of them. When they started soliciting contributions from my husband and I separately through telephones and mails, we finally wised up and said enough is enough. We now limit our charity giving to Red Cross, Salvation Army, VFW, Cancer, and to local charity drives to help our own in our community like NEEDS, Goodwill, Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels. I've been known to send checks to people in our community who'se house got burned down or just have lost everything to medical bills. And yes, I'm going to donate to the charity you're advocating in your post because I agree that it's a worthy cause.

We Are The World is one of my favorite songs of the 80's. It's an all-embracing kind of song that has a very powerful message behind it. It's good to hear it again. Great post Eric.


Eric S. said...

Hi Tasha, no worries, we all have a real life to live, and unfortunately we can not blog continuously.

Yes poverty in all of it's forms is terrible. The worst on people who are not used to needing a helping hand. It's hard for someone who is proud to ask for help of that kind.

Oh you should write your memoir's. My mother is do that now, and I get periodic updates to read. They will be so very important to your children and family.

Yes I know some of those charitable organizations can get pretty aggressive in their pursuit of donations. It's really pretty sad, because they would probably get a better showing by not being so pushy. You know, it does not surprise me in the least that you are such a giving person. I can read it in your nature, or personality.

Thanks for stopping by, and for making a donation and a comment.


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