When you think of poverty what do you think about ?
African children struggling for food…
The homeless on your city streets…
Dirty water in a third world country….
According to Wikipedia: “Poverty is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens
One key element from this definition that I would almost guarantee that most of you would have not considered is “the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty”
Is depression a form of poverty ?
Is a limited education a form of poverty ?
Is reduced human interaction a form of poverty ?
Absolutely, and it’s this form of poverty that is generally over-looked.
Today is Blog Action Day, and as I mentioned in a blog post earlier this week, Blog Action Day â€œis an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the worldâ€™s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day… This year the theme is Poverty and by working together on one issue on the same day the blogging and podcasting community can change the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on the issue of World poverty.”
As I write this, Blog Action Day is about half way over and I haven’t seen a single post that talks about these abstruse ideas of poverty.
Why is that?
As they say on their own site “Bloggers are free to interpret this as they see fit. We invite bloggers to examine poverty from their own blog topics and perspectives, to look at it from the macro and micro, as a global condition and a local issue, and to bring their own ideas, views and opinions on the subject.”
So with over 10,227 blogs participating (and and estimated audience of 10,963,564) why does our global community really have their blinkers on when it comes to this ?
Has Bono really created a monopoly on the definition of poverty ?
Now I am not saying that lack of clean drinking water or food is not worth talking about… it’s by far the most important definition of poverty to focus on… BUT out of ten thousand blogs there should be at least a handful should be talking about emotional and opportunity poverty.
So what is emotional and opportunity poverty ?
Emotional poverty is when you feel like you have no one to turn to… Emotional poverty is the place you are at just before suicide… Emotional Poverty is when you feel as thought the world in on your shoulders….
Opportunity poverty is when you are at the bottom of the financial barrel with (what appears to be) no way out… Opportunity poverty is when you don’t have the resources to educate yourself… Opportunity poverty is not having the family and friends to give you the push when needed.
And with that, everyone has experienced emotional and opportunity poverty at some point in there lives… and will probably live it again in one form or another. Including you.
And unlike the ‘common conception” about ‘making poverty history’, overcoming opportunity or emotional poverty is not something that we need money, large teams or concerts to fix…
All that’s needed are little magic moments every once in awhile…
So how do we create these magic moment and make a difference to ‘opportunity & emotional poverty’ ?
- Pass along a book that made a difference to your life
- Tell a a friend you care about them
- Give someone a hug
- Write your staff an email, reminding them they are appreciated
- Buy a book from http://betterworldbooks.com/ and then pass it on. (two birds, one stone)
- Teach someone to fish, and recommend the Thirty Day Challenge
- Write some christmas cards this December
- Jump on Facebook and let your highschool crush know the truth
- Have a garage sale; your trash can be more then someone elses treasure