Poverty


It is at this time of year that I’m most mindful of poverty. Fall begins the times of harvest and plenty.  Even in communities where farms aren’t a part of day to day life, it is the stockpiling season.  A season where we put up for Winter, and the Winter holidays.

Where I live I don’t run into many homeless, nor do my neighbors live in abject poverty, but I’m blessed to be reminded of it by my past and my peers.

During my early child hood, my parents and I once lived on the charity of others.  Dinner was often the bologna dropped off by a family member, or cheap vegetables and such.  As an adult, there was a time where my family lived on the charity of our family and the military folks.  We didn’t have money to buy a loaf of bread.  Thankfully in neither case was my family left homeless or unclothed.

Now my life is one that many would envy. I have a good job, paid for cars, and my wife and I live in a respectable house.  The amenities go beyond the basics though.  We have always on Internet, enough extra for dining out, and we’re able to buy things for others.  But this is where having great peers helps.

My peers, online and off, keep me mindful of the ever present poverty around us.  They remind me that even when I don’t see it myself, and I’m long past my days of borrowing money to feed my children, that millions of others face struggles worse than mine.

Our church does education and fund raisers for the poor and homeless, both here and abroad.  Neighbors come door to door asking for donations of food and clothing. I’m blessed with another set of peers though, those on the Internet.

This week I was asked to get involved and write about poverty.  To take a few moments to bring your attention to it’s continued affect on our world is what it’s about. If I’ve given you a moment’s pause then this article is worth the time.

I’ll wager that you may not be exposed to poverty directly but I’ll be willing to bet you’ve been affected by it.  Chances are you have family and friends that have struggled with poverty or might be struggling with it today. I confess, my sister and her children are in poverty now.

What can you do?  If you can do nothing else with money or time, then spread the word to your peers, to  your children, and your neighbors.  Remind them that poverty isn’t something that just happens to kids in Egypt but right here at home.

I challenge you to take a stand on your terms today.  Do something to push back poverty for a friend, your family, and that stranger in Ethiopia.

Thanks my friends for asking me to write and think about poverty during Blog Action Day 2008.

More great Blog Action Day 2008 posts:

Words that make a difference by Joanna Young

It’s Time by Robert Hruzek

Company of the Day: Goodwill Industries by Tim Walker

Help a Girl Out (of Poverty) by Laura P. Thomas

Returning To St Louis City – 1908 by John Newmark

A portrait of poverty by Coffee Sister

If you have a post you’d like me to link to, please share.