| As we wake up every morning, there are lots of things that we take for granted. Not necessarily those of the Gucci kind, but even the simpler things. Electricity for example: the soft hiss of the central A/C reminds us that, yes, the bill has been paid and that it is really comfortable sleeping in on Friday mornings in 24 degrees C, while outside the mercury continues to soar.
At the breakfast table, a simple spread of sunny side ups, toast and tea (or coffee), is nothing different or special. Honestly, it shouldn’t cost you more than a dollar or two. After breakfast, and a hot (or cold) long shower, we’d probably change into something simple, like a t-shirt and jeans. Or maybe instead of the jeans some of us would rather don a pair of khakis since it’s so hot outside.
Consider this though: What if things weren’t really like that? Assume that for one month, the electricity bill was left unpaid. It doesn’t really paint a pretty picture does it? All that time spent indoors in the heat would be difficult. Even breakfast would be harder. What if you went to bed knowing that when you wake up in the morning, you couldn't have someone make you breakfast or even make it yourself because there’s nothing to eat.
Now imagine this:
Poverty as described in a dictionary is the condition a person is in if he/she earns less than $1 a day. And that is just a textbook description. There are some who earn a little more than $1, and some who earn zilch. Neither are in the most desirable conditions.
45.3% of people under the poverty line live in Southeast Asia, while 22.4% live in Africa. And for a local twist, a large percentage of labourers suffer almost the same way in developed nations as well. These people don’t exactly wake up snug under covers in their bedrooms. Or in their beds at all. Most of them wake up not knowing whether they can afford to get breakfast from anywhere. In that regard, most of them haven’t had three square meals a day for as long as they remember. Clothing? What clothes? There aren’t any Giordano’s or Bossini’s for them to get their daily ware from. Even if there was, odds are they probably couldn’t afford it. No Food. No Shelter. No Clothing. These people lack the 3 basic necessities in life. These people don’t know when their next meal is, and many of them don’t know how long they’re going to live. According to statisticians, poverty kills one child every 3 seconds.
That said, I’d like to share an interesting quote from Walter Bagehot. He was an English journalist from the mid-1800s. And he said:
“ Poverty is an anomaly to the rich people; it is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner, simply do not ring the bell. “
I’m not trying to say that we’re all rich here… But what his quote implies is that… Unless you’re not in that condition yourself, you don’t truly comprehend what they feel like. Yes, sympathy, pity, and maybe a passion to correct these horrendous conditions may implant themselves in your heart, but you will never be able to fathom what goes on through their minds. Not unless you’re either seeing it with your own eyes or are in their place.
No one should have to go through what these people suffer as a part of their daily lives. No one deserves to. That’s why at Make Poverty History, our aim is to eradicate global extreme poverty. It is the largest coalition in the world of charities and other foundations trying to pressure governments into fighting poverty worldwide. The gap that keeps growing between the rich and the poor is created out of man-made elements and is nothing that we can not tackle. By working together, poverty could soon ‘extinct’. But it won’t happen today, or tomorrow. Nor in one year, or two. But with the support of people all around the world, it could happen soon enough. You don’t have to be movie star or a musician to make a difference. If we work together, Planet Earth can be poverty–free by 2015.
Think about it. Because that’s all you would need to do to make up your mind. And once you’re done thinking about it:
Take action. Join the campaign. Help fight poverty worldwide.
For further information on the campaign and its goals visit, www.makepovertyhistory.org .
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