15 October 2008 @ 12:17 am

The world is a tough little place. Real life hurts, and it's perhaps one of the greatest injustices that man (and woman) will ever know. Poverty is one of the reasons for all of this suffering. It is the major cause for all of the hunger, disease, lack of education, and heartless suffering that exists today. Of all the most horrible things in the world today, I believe that poverty is one of the leading problems that must be eradicated as soon as possible. Of course, who knows how long it will be before we have the resources available to completely be rid of poverty worldwide? I doubt very much that it will happen in my lifetime. I'm equally as certain that any children who have the misfortune of being called mine will not see a complete cure for it. However, in order to be rid of one of our greatest scourges, we must start acting NOW.

So think about it: How much does poverty affect your life? A lot? Very little? Not at all? Does it even matter? Maybe you have a total and completely perfect view on all the ways in which poverty affects you. Perhaps you are greatly naive and have no idea whatsoever of the impact that poverty has on you. Maybe you are one of the rare ones it doesn't even touch (if you think you are, think again: these sorts don't exist). Regardless of its affect on you, it is affecting someone, and it's probably doing so in ways that you and I will never be able to fully understand.

We live in a pretty great country. Despite a falling economy, sinking dollar value, and huge national debt, the majority of us still manage to wake up in the morning with a roof over our heads, drag ourselves off to jobs or schools where, despite having no desire whatsoever to go through this grind, we are kept mostly comfortable and safe. We'll probably manage to eat several times throughout the day, and at the end of it we'll return home to our televisions and pass out on a bed with our heads still covered by a sturdy roof. Maybe once in a while we'll be reminded of others less fortunate than us and donate a few t-shirts or dollars to a local charity--hey, it's helping, right?

Wrong. Very, very wrong.

Yeah, it's helping a few people. Your twenty dollars or so might feed a person for a day, but all it's doing is superficial, covering up the problem. Why mask the symptoms when you can cure the disease? In order to finally be rid of poverty, we must start at the beginning--the very start of life. Now, I've never cared much for children; I'd even go as far to say that I pretty much hate everyone under the age of about seventeen. However, there can be no doubt that a person's childhood is what shapes his or her future. Clearly, we must protect the children. The best way to do this is to make sure they make it out of the actual birthing process with the one thing that is guaranteed to fight for them during their most delicate years--a mother.

Today is the fifteenth of October, and it is officially Blog Action Day. This year's theme to blog on is poverty. Poverty is a complex and global issue that exists everywhere. It is most prominent within third world countries, but even first world countries like the United States, Great Britain, and France have sections of their populations that live below the poverty line.

In 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit, 189 representatives signed the Millennium Declaration, vowing to combat the world's biggest problems by 2015. These Millennium Development Goals are:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Many of these goals can be met by meeting just one: Ending poverty. Poverty keeps food from the mouths of hungry men. Poverty keeps children working in fields, rather than attending school. Poverty traps people into a set and archaic way of thinking. Poverty causes higher incidences of child mortality. Poverty prevents expectant mothers from receiving proper maternal care. Poverty prevents the sick from affording the proper care that is need to cure their diseases. Poverty makes further development impossible. Poverty creates rifts between those who lack and those who do not.

Poverty is the problem.

But it is not one for which there is an easy solution.

Poverty can be erased from this world by ensuring that the hungry are fed, so that they may be strong enough to fight illnesses that come their way. By preventing diseases from taking children and adults alike, they can live long enough to be educated. With education comes better jobs opportunities and enlightened thinking. With well-paying work comes the ability to pay for maternal health care. With these things in place, progress can be made towards finding ways to protect our environment and the gap between rich and poor will lessen and we will be able to find more common ground.

Someone Once Told Me
End Poverty 2015
Stand Up Take Action
The Girl Effect
UN Millennium Development Goals
Death in Birth, article from TIME magazine on maternal mortality
88 Ways to DO Something About Poverty Right Now, from Blog Action Day
Ripple, help with just a click!
The Heifer Project International

12 October 2008 @ 10:37 am

Hey guys, it's not too late...you can still sign up to join Blog Action Day. Why join? Because this year's theme is poverty, and poverty sucks. Duh.

Oh? What's that? Now you're arguing that it won't make any difference if you join because you have a freaking El Jay with only three people actually reading what you write? WRONG!

Picture THIS:

If you have three watchers, and only one of them decides to pass along the message...

YOU write about poverty
/                         |                         \
Friend One      Friend Two (tells her f-list)      Friend Three
|     |
Watcher One     Watcher Two
|          |                        
Thing One     Thing Two                    

See how many people can find out about how poverty is affecting us all?!?! It's so exciting, that I'm now going to be late for work!!! D:
23 August 2008 @ 01:06 am

Hey guys--check this out!

I'll be taking part in this year's Blog Action Day! The whole goal of Blog Action Day is to create a dialogue and promote discussion about the issues that exist in today's world. Blog Action Day isn't about finding any one answer to the problems that are here right now--as the official site says: "Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer."

This year's theme is poverty, a problem that thousands, if not millions, of people face and struggle with every day. And now, with the economy as weak as it is, it is even more pressing that we deal with this issue NOW. I've heard time and time again, that we have the power to completely eradicate poverty within our lifetimes.

I know that not everyone is going to have something to say on the matter. I'm sure there are even those of you that feel poverty doesn't affect you in the slightest. But please, regardless of whether it is affecting you or not--it is affecting SOMEONE. Speak out so that these people may have a voice on their side.

TL;DR Version:

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

So yeah...I know what I'll be doing on October fifteenth--do you?