Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What do I think about poverty?
I find, in reality, that I don't think nearly enough about poverty or about who is affected by it or how one feels about being cold, hungry, thirsty, or homeless. I am not proud to say those words but the reality of being comfortable, well-fed and in a loving home coats me with a veneer of denial, dimming my vision towards those who do not have the same advantages that have come my way in life......accident of birthplace, parents, economic times, the benefit of education, strong body and mind, etc.
Then again, perhaps because of the those accidents of my being in this world, I do think about poverty a lot....when I throw away a mushy apple or brown banana, when I peel something and put the scraps down the garbage disposal, when I run the water too long while brushing my teeth, or flush every single time I near a toilet, when I find recyleable items have made it into the trash bin rather than in to the recyle bin, when I relegate an item to the rag bag after a few seasons of wearing. Yes, I think about poverty during those times and then in addition to prayers of thanksgiving, I offer prayers of intercession for those persons I may not know who find themselves in circumstances of which they had no hand in making. I think about the ONE campaign, about Episcopal Relief and Development and about St. Vincent DePaul's Catholic Charities and the myriad organizations that are mobilized to bring poverty to an end. I think about those volunteers who are making a difference in our world and I contribute to them and their organizations.
Someone reading my words might think I'm just an environmentalist rather than one who is supposed to be espousing words about poverty on this National Blogging Day re Poverty. But isn't the waste of our planet the issue that will drive all mankind to poverty and ultimately to madness and destruction? There are too many of us hoarding and misusing finite resources, along with NOT planning to change our habits or claim personal culpability for others' survival or lack thereof.
Am I one of those "too many of us" hoarding, etc." - are you? Do we want to change our habits for the safety of our world and neighbors' lives? Will we? When - sometime/ maybe/never?