When Is Poverty NOT Poverty ?

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 “is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’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

  • http://paulnewnham.blogspot.com/ Paul

    you raise good questions and I think it is important to look at poverty in broad form includeing emotional and oppurtunity. When I think about poverty I think about perspective and feel this is really important. The place you stand means certain things are more important than others. For example with out basic food and shelter are you going to be able to look at emotional poverty or does this come when you have basics?? It is a great conversation and I love your blog layout!

  • Pete Williams

    Thanks Paul…

    Appreciate the comment.

  • Charlie Jones

    Very insightful post Pete…

    I completely agree with your comments…. It’s something that I had never considered, but oh so true.

  • Leo

    In that case you should also ad ignorance to that list…Look for your education POVERTY is defined as the lack of basic needs for ones existence…what you are talking about is just MISSED OPPORTUNITIES…there is a huge difference folks.

    Pete, I love your enthusiasm and the way you’ve set up your Blog so don’t take this the wrong way…but the way this subject is slanted reminds me of a certain Internet Marketing GURU (who shall remain nameless) who invoked the name of a well known children’s charity simply to gain credibility for his own product launch.

    This was embarrassing to see…and was a new low for the Internet Marketing community…I’m glad to see that the same tactics has not been copied by others.

    By the way you’ve got some great content…Best wishes.

  • http://www.timetoshine.com.au/ Time to Shine

    Indeed these are the questions we need to ponder. These are one of the things that I’ve been trying to wrap up in my mind.

    Very informative and eye opening. more power!

  • http://link JXL15

    Acceptance of climate change is NOT the mainstream view, at present. ,

Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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