More and more recently I have been considering poverty.
A thought occured to me that there must be enough resources in the world for everyone; it just isn’t being distributed well enough. I mean if one footballer can earn himself £250’000 a week and is playing terrible, there is something gravely wrong. But it can be easy to blame the world’s poverty on the insanely rich.
I work in a shop and we throw food out all the time. Whenever bread has reached one day before its sell by date we throw it out. And that’s its sell by date, not it’s use by date. Think about the last time you had a meal with a lot of people. Did you finish everything on your plate? Then think about the last time you had a big feed. Did you get to the end and then feel full or could you have stopped a lot earlier?
There is enough.
So why do billions of people not have enough?
None of us really want to think about people who live in Poverty. It’s an issue that we are just tired of hearing about. In some ways we have come to accept it. Poverty is a fact and no matter how much we give we can’t fix it all. So we don’t do anything. There was a time when images of starving kids around the world on the news really effected people.
Last year $300 million dollars was donated voluntarily in the USA to charities. That’s a huge amount of money. But when you consider that 95% of that was given to charities based in the USA then the 5% remaining which was dontated to International work doesn’t seem so large.
So when $300 million dollars is being donated in one year and most of that is staying in one country, a country which just happens to be the wealthiest in the world, it makes eradicating poverty seem like a lost cause.
But Jesus didn’t think so and neither should we. For Jesus, doing something about poverty was a central focus to his message. If we are to take his message seriously we just can’t ignore poverty. Doing so is ignoring Jesus.
So what do we do about it?
Well writing a blog about it won’t do a thing. If I change my eating habits or my buying habits it won’t change a thing. But what about if WE all changed our eating habits?
The truth is it takes all of us to do something. We all need to take action. We all need to give generously. Not just as a group of individuals but as leaders and Governments and Churches. Only then will extreme poverty come a thing of the past.
A impossible dream? I don’t think so. Daunting? Maybe. Impossible? Never