Well, I guess its about time I returned to the subject of poverty. Its a tough issue to discuss because any attempt to discuss it always inspires strong feelings in people, rich or poor. Let me first say I'm talking mostly about poverty in North America, where we seem to have different reasons for it than in a lot of other parts of the world. I don't know a lot about poverty in other parts of the world. (Maybe don't know much about here either?)
MoFo grew up in an inner city "hood" in the 1960s and 1970s. It was relatively fat times, the height of the post war industrial boom. There were kids in the hood from every ethnic origin or group, but, most were Caucasian, unlike a lot of other North American hoods. Fat as the times were, there were still a lot of those kids collecting pop bottles, digging through garbage cans and "swiping chow" to feed their child hunger. Right here in the mid-west, the so called Bread Basket of the World! In supposedly the best and most advanced society in the world! It still goes on today, after men have landed on the moon, after the so-called agricultural "green" revolution, in the information age, when there's a space station with people living on it, in the midst of the most opulently prosperous society in the entire history of the world! At the very least its a puzzle or enigma??? It just begs the question, just how advanced technologically and industrially wealthy will we have to be to to eliminate the depth of poverty where children are hungry in a society?
I can hear some of saying, there will always be rich and poor. (The way most people think about this is fairly common and familiar.) Fine, fine, that's not really what I'm talking about. I mean what will it take to raise the floor so the inevitable enduring poor children will not experience shortages in food, clothing, housing and education? Or do we just continue the resignation to the point of saying there will always be such children in all societies? This seems a dismal, defeatist and sad. Do North Americans ever just give up and say this the best we can do? Why do we do it with poverty so easily?
There's more to this puzzle of poverty in the midst of the plenty. There's a fairly widespread animosity and resentment of the poor in the North America? And even jealousy or envy of a kind for their "life of leisure" (Yeah, right! Like buddy sleeping in the street and dumpster diving for a living is somehow comparable to a jetset playboy eh? Do people hate their jobs that much that a life of homelessness is enviable?). I've never quite understood this. What is there to resent or envy about a people who have nothing by those who do share in the bounty? Why beat up on such people? Is North American society one of bullies which has a need to enjoy berating and torturing its weaker members? Do North Americans need miserably poor people in their society as scapegoats so they can feel good about themselves and their lot in life? You don't think its like this? Think about how the poorest kids in the school you went to were treated, even by the teachers. Blaming the poor for poverty seems a lot like blaming the sick for disease or blaming the dead for death!
It all seems very strange and bizarre this "hunger" in the midst of plenty and the way people think about it. Even more so when you consider most of the continent claims to be Christian of one kind or another with Christian ideals of charity and sharing. It certainly doesn't seem to be "not enough to go around" is the problem. We have more than enough here in North America to feed, clothe, house and educate all the children. It has to be something about the way we think that's at the root of it all. There's something in the way we think that lets children go to bed hungry or in need of other basic necessities of life!
And its not just a few children. They number in the tens of millions of children in North America. With all we have, and unable to vanquish this historic enemy of humankind's children, how daunting the task must seem to other societies and nations who have far less natural and technological wealth. Should they really believe us when we go around the planet telling them our way of life is best and they should buy into our way of thinking and doing things? Do we have any leg to stand on when we go around the world telling other nations, "Here, this is how you feed your children!" Do we have any reason to think our society is any better than others around the world? At least some of those other nations have genuine national poverty as a reason. No such excuses here though!
Poverty has hurt, abused, and killed more children in North America than all the pedophiles, abusers and killers in its history (Oh how we love to hate, loathe and despise all those who hurt the children eh?) Why do we just let the reign of terror and destruction of this historic child abuser and killer continue when we do have the means to finally bring it to ground?
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