Poverty is like Acne – Blog Action Day 2008

Squeezing them only makes them angry
Courtesy of SlopJop

Everyone is going on about this thing call Poverty.

To be honest, I don’t even know what poverty REALLY is?

In fact, I am desensitized to most messages thrown at me about poverty.

I partially blame World Vision (and main stream media) for throwing the shock card at me.

You know?

The starving bloated fly ridden African child and a fat white bearded Santa Claus looking guy telling me I should give money so I don’t have to feel bad.

Well. It worked the first time. Then what happened? I got use to it and then instead of feeling guilty, I would go to the kitchen and make a cheese and tomato sandwich.

Luckily, World Vision has fresh blood in the form of the new media cow boys\girls at “Learn About Poverty”. Who if it was not for them I would not be typing away right now!

At his moment in time. I don’t know how to relate to poverty!!

Why?

I am a Caucasian western white bread gen x with nice parents who took care of my basic necessities and then some. I had an ordinary life in an ordinary Australian town.

I never experience poverty.

Maybe if I did the “religion” thing? I would have gone on a mission to a “New World” and built a church or school and smelt, felt and tasted “Poverty” first hand.

Then I would KNOW what POVERTY really IS.

My Dad could have been in the Army and we would travel to places of “Poverty”. I would make a friend on the other side of the fence and he would take me to the slums and I would get to see and hear “Poverty” through my eyes and ears first hand.

Then I would KNOW what POVERTY really IS.

Am I the only one desensitized to poverty?

Sure, I can get worked up on the 15th October, write a blog entry, loan more money on KIVA.

But the following day, I will be doing my own thing and it won’t be related to reducing poverty.

What if I was not atheist? I could break out of this ensuing numbness by having GOD tell me it was my mission to complete these steps after the 15th October.

It seems to work because World Vision is faith based and am fairly confident blog action day is faith driven based on the last video in the link above. And look at the awareness they are creating!

But unfortunately, I am atheist with a bit of Hari Krishna and Buddhist and some home cooked spirituality. All of which do nothing to embed a sub conscious agenda to convert less fortunate people to my belief system. In other words I don’t have a compelling reason to go out and help.

If I did maybe I would KNOW what POVERTY is?

I know! Could poverty be like ACNE?

Once you get it, it is nearly impossible to shake for years.

You can pretend not to have it but when you look in the mirror it is hard to ignore.

You can conceal it using make up but that makes it even worse.

You can try and fix it by using pimple cream which works in the short term but comes back with vengeance when you stop.

Ultimately, when you have acne you have NO CHOICE. You either have it or you don’t.

So I guess it is the same for POVERTY. When you are experiencing it.

You have NO CHOICE, NO CHOICE on anything to do with your future. You probably have less choice then options to reduce your ACNE.

O.K I now have an idea of what is poverty.

Next question. If I am desensitized towards pro-active advertisements and churchies, I mean anti-poverty advertisements. What am actually sensitive towards?

I guess, I am sensitive to the flesh, the personality, the life energy of people, the understanding, the interaction, the play.
Thinks like the smile you give another when something unspoken happens that you simultaneously find amusing.
The moments of shared understanding between you and a stranger that instantly makes you realize we are human and one of the the same.
The times sitting around listening to the stories of people with diverse backgrounds to you and being able to relate it your own life experience.

These types of experiences motivate me to make life better for others. And if I can help directly, in person, with two hands even better.

Wow! Now I have an idea of what is poverty and what I am actually sensitive too.

I can build into my life situations that give me a fighting chance to contribute to equality and giving people the choice they deserve and we take for granted.

What will this involve? It will definitely involve travel and when in Australia, going out into the community with people outside of my comfort zone. Where I will do things that sensitize me like meeting people experiencing difficulty in person, story telling, enjoying a game and having a laugh with my best attempt to be void of judgement and righteousness..