I remembered Blog Action Day too late to have a polished post ready at 8 AM today, but after reading Steve Todd’s post on the subject I felt I really needed to get something written before the day closed out.
I lived my youth in conditions which are considered poverty in the US. Single parent, government subsidized housing project, food stamps, giant blocks of orange cheese, food bank, etc. My grandfather was a butcher and would often get us meat (for free) which was about to expire. My grandmother bought me school clothes at the start of every year. We got by.
But this is truly a land of great opportunity, and I made the most of those opportunities and am living a very different life now. Many people don’t get those opportunities. I think sometimes of how my life would be different if my mother had been an alcoholic, if my grandparents hadn’t been around, or if my state benefits were worse. I read stories like Gina’s and realize just how more complex the issue can be than it was for me.
And yet, even this is not the true story of global poverty. There are people who would kill for the chance to live the childhood I had.
It’s an easy problem to get overwhelmed by. I tend to concentrate my efforts on the problems closest to me, the problems which impact my family, my community, even my nation. And it’s good to do that. It’s necessary. But the stories I’m reading today are moving me, and reminding me that you can take small steps on a global level just as you can on a local one.
And so, I’d like to thank and pass along links to the following excellent blog stories from people I follow, on the subject of poverty.
Maybe they’ll inspire you to make a different decision today, this month, this year….