Poverty is everywhere whether we care to admit it or not. People who are less fortunate are not only a local problem, but a global problem as well. Every country in every part of the world has to deal with the poor. The topic has been widely debated since Bible times and will continue to be a topic we discuss as long as humans exist. Jesus himself was not “wealthy” and spoke mostly to the poor, in fact, he lived among them. Why don’t Christians do the same? We seem to have a problem helping the issue of poverty for longer than necessary to make ourselves look good instead of trying to find a permanent solution instead.
In the transcript from the National Prayer Breakfast we read, Bono says, “We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can’t afford it. But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.” Though many Christians do mission work or give to certain organizations, the majority rarely does more than the yearly mission trip to Mexico. If those same people would spend the rest of the year working in other ways to help the issue of global poverty, how much better could our world be? If we helped get rid of the dangers in other countries and began bringing in job opportunities for the people, the entire world would benefit from it, and poverty would decrease.
The Sojourners article mentions our mindset of having “deserving poor”, “working poor”, and the kind of poor who we consider lazy. I am guilty of seeing people who I place in the last of those categories, because I believe that there are jobs for everyone in America who wants one. It may not be something you enjoy, but that is no excuse to be given government money for nothing. Though, like we said in class, most of us have been given money through scholarships or other grants. The difference in my mind is that most people who receive these “handouts” so to speak are going to college to further their lives for the better, and in turn benefitting their community and the world. America is the land of opportunity, thus almost everyone is capable of making something of themselves. There are some special situations where it is physically or mentally impossible for someone to work, and in those situations, we should band together and help take care of those people.
I think organizations that help the less fortunate in other countries are amazing. It has been something I have been considering for a long time the idea of sponsoring a child in another part of the world. Children, especially orphans, are some that need help the most. Children cannot go out and get a job to feed themselves, but if they are supported by someone better off than them that wants them to succeed in life, that child will have a better chance of getting out of such poverty and pay that kindness forward in the future.
Poverty is not an easy topic for me. I have lived in what I would consider for my life to be misfortunate, but I have never lived in what would be defined poverty. I cannot understand what it means to not have a place to sleep, or to have nothing to eat. My mother has never allowed my sister or I to say we are “starving” because that has never been true. But there are people who are starving every day. Poverty is a very real issue, and most take for granted how much they have when some will never know what it feels like to have that much.