Why Do You let People Live in Poverty?
God: I have given the world enough resources for everyone to live a rich and full life. Society honors those that drive expensive cars and wear designer clothes. The more you have, the more you are respected. But, you can’t take it with you, Sam. So, my question to you is, why do you let people live in poverty and others in mansions? Why do you honor people that spend the amount of money on a pair of shoes that could feed a village for a month? You are responsible for your brothers and sisters both across the street and around the world. Why don’t you stop it?
Page 74, The Promise, by Darlene Gudrie Butts
A billion people on earth live in “deep poverty”- that is, on less than a dollar and twenty five cents a day. A billion more live on less than two dollars a day. The reliance on food banks here in Windsor and across North America has grown as we have a new category of people, “the working poor.” And the question is, why do we (the collective we, the “haves, even though we often consider ourselves “have nots” we, and the we who have but don’t think can ) let this go on?
It is thought that one hundred billion dollars could eradicate deep poverty in ten years (Jeffery Sachs, economist). That sounds like a staggering amount. But, if you were to take 50% of the population of the US and Canada (314 million and 34.5 million/2=175 million people) assuming that this half of the population would be old enough and able enough to participate, you would need less than $600 per person total over the next ten years. That is $60 per year and only counting in the U.S. and Canada as solutions to this problem.
So, why do we choose not to?
I had to really think about that because I hadn’t directly done anything to eradicate poverty here or abroad on a consistent basis for years. I was too busy. I worried my funds would be eaten up by crooks and mismanagement and never get to the designated person. I didn’t have enough for my own family, so how could I help others? I had my own problems that weighed heavy on my heart and felt I couldn’t take on someone else’s problem.
I chose to ignore the problem and we are collectively choosing to have poverty exist in this world.
So, what can you and I do?
Start with contributing $60 per year knowing you have committed to end poverty. Then, inform and encourage others to do the same. What if the millions of twitter followers of Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Rihanna and all the other celebrities and professional athletes who buy shoes with enough money to feed a village or real estate (and often this is second or third properties) equal to the value needed to feed a country, pressured them via tweets to commit to ending poverty? Can you imagine if the TMZ cameras caught one of them handing over a huge check to a food program instead of coming out of an expensive restaurant or ready to board a private plane? What if this drove viewers to watch their program or fans to the concert or the game? What if you were the catalyst to millions of people giving $600 this year instead of $60 and moving the timetable of poverty eradication up years and saving countless lives? What if you saved one life?
I am making my first contribution to the World Food Program and my goal is to beat $600 for the year. I wish I could write a $600 check right now, but I can’t. So, I am going to do what I can now. My dream would be to donate as much money to a food program here as I do internationally knowing that I am “taking care of my brothers and sisters across the street and around the world” because I can’t let poverty exists anymore without me trying to end it.
God is right. This is not a God problem, this is our problem. And, there is a solution.