Wednesday, October 15, 2008

End poverty.

Today is Blog Action Day 2008 and this year's focus is on poverty. Poverty can be defined as lack of the common necessities that determine quality of life - lack of safe food, shelter, and clothing, lack of opportunities presented by education, health care, and community and personal agency.

Many of us do things to combat poverty in the short term. We donate food to our local food rescue agency for those who need to fill their belly. We donate furniture to the local furniture bank to give to those who need a place to lay their head. We donate coats for kids who need to stay warm in the winter.

These activities are critically important because they meet a pressing and immediate need. However it is also important to consider ways we can eliminate these needs completely. Many people argue that it is actually possible to END POVERTY. I suggest that that should be our goal. Here are some ways you can ensure that everyone has the common necessities we all need to have a decent quality of life.

* Consider class. Consider how tolerant you are of people who have a different (or the same) amount of or access to money and opportunity as you. Think honestly, carefully, and critically about what you believe in. Think about what is right. And make sure your words and actions reflect your beliefs. We may demonstrate class or other biases without being conscious of it. So be honest with yourself and when you see or hear inappropriate unjust behavior, do something about it.

* Think globally, act locally. The current financial crises emphasizes that we live in a highly integrated world. By practicing consciously connected living, we acknowledge how intertwined our lives are and make choices that maximize benefit for everyone.

* Stop making excuses. Instead of focusing on what won't work, develop something that will. Instead of saying you have no time to contribute, use the time you have more wisely. Instead of saying you have no money to contribute, look for other valuable skills, items and resources that you can use for good.

* "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mohandas Ghandi reminds us that who we are, how we act, what we care about influences the world we live in. If making the world a better place for all of use who live in it is important to you, browse this site to find ways to make sure your lifestyle reflects your values and priorities.

Want to learn more about how to end poverty? Check out these books:

* Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
* Our Day to End Poverty: 24 Ways You Can Make a Difference (BK Currents (Paperback))
* The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass (c. 1817–1895), U.S. abolitionist. Speech, April 1886


Karama said...


Personal agency - the ability of an individual to achieve her desired outcome on her own behalf.
Community agency - the ability of a community to achieve its desired outcome on its own behalf.
Consciously connected living - A lifestyle that reflects the fact that your actions affect others, others actions affect you, others problems are your problems, and you serve yourself when you serve others.

Karama said...

Be a loaner. Join the So What Can I Do Kiva Team. Loans that make a difference.

Or consider loaning through Microplace and earn a return on your investment.

Peruse the archives for more on microloans, a great poverty-reducing tool.