Blog Action Day: Poverty. Awareness is the First Step: The Next Time You …

Apologies for our tardiness in posting for Blog Action Day which was Oct. 15, 2008. On Oct. 14th, our site was blocked due to server overload and we had to move to a new hosting company. I emailed Leo Babauta at Blog Action Day to ask if I could still participate a few days late and he graciously permitted me to do so, saying “poverty will still be around.”

To be completely honest, poverty is something that I have thus far not thought long and hard about. I always knew growing up and still do know I am very fortunate to have food, a home and all the “necessities” of modern life. I always knew there were people around the world who were not so lucky as I. But I have been so preoccupied with seeing to my own situation and future that, with the exception of paying a 10% tithe of our gross income to a church for 2 years several years ago, I haven’t really been very proactive in contributing to a solution.

Thus, my blog action day project will be about the first step in affecting change, which is fostering and spreading awareness. In order to solve a problem, one first has to be aware that there is a problem. It’s true that only knowing and thinking about something won’t make a difference, but one cannot take any sort of action without having first thought about the matter at hand.

So, we know we are lucky. (If you have access to a computer and internet connection to read this, you are part of the “we.”) But to what extent are we lucky? There are countless things that we take for granted everyday and consider necessities but would be luxuries for millions of people around the world:

  • 3 square meals a day
  • A hot shower every day
  • A bed complete with mattress, blankets and pillow
  • A clean change of clothes every day and a another set to sleep in
  • A flushing toilet
  • Heating and air conditioning

The list goes on and on. So,

The next time you …

  • have a drink (of anything – water, soda, juice, etc.) remember that there are over 1 billion people in this world who do not have fresh drinking water.
  • eat a meal, remember that over 900 million people worldwide are hungry.
  • are hungry from skipping one meal, imagine what it would feel like to go without food for an entire day, then a week and more.
  • go to bed, remember that there are over 100 million homeless people worldwide who have no beds to sleep in.
  • are ill or injured, imagine what it would be like to not be able to go to a doctor or buy medication.
  • have a toothache, imagine what it would be like to not be able to go to a dentist.
  • turn on a light or turn up the heater, remember that 2 billion people worldwide live without electricity.
  • go to the bathroom, remember that 2.6 billion people worldwide do not have toilets and proper sanitation.
  • complain about your job, remember that there are 9.5 million unemployed persons in the United States alone.

I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but I hope this is enough to get us all thinking. Again, I know just thinking about these alone won’t change anything, but it’s certainly a start.

Here are a couple of good websites for more information.

World Poverty Resources

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3 thoughts on “Blog Action Day: Poverty. Awareness is the First Step: The Next Time You …”

  1. Love your post! I am going to link it on my blog. I agree with you – we take way too much for granted. Unfortunately though, many people start feeling guilty rather than feeling content, and the guilt stops them from acting. If we would turn all the guilt into contentment and use that to channel energy into service, we could change the world 🙂

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