My family recently started subscribing to The Economist, and I (as a typical 20-years old) don’t pay much attention to it. However, an issue from two weeks or so ago sponsered the cover “Towards the End of Poverty.” The article delves into the economies of upcoming nations, primarily China, but also touched on India, and how China has substantially decreased the number of its citizens who fall under the poverty line. The poverty line for different nations changes, but internationally is accepted as making less than $1.25 daily, however for the States is less than $64 daily for a family of four.
Despite the hope that this article inspires, a jarring statement at the end stuck with me. “If growth is a littler faster and income more equal, extreme poverty could fall to be just 1.5% – as near to zero as is realisticallu possible. The number of the destitute would then be about 100m, most of them in intractable countries in Africa” (The Economist, June 1st-7th, 2013, Towards the End of Poverty).
I am not suggesting we invade these unmentioned African countries, there are too many deeply political, and cultural issues for the West to deal with. While I believe, we don’t make this our mission, I believe we should offer aid when approached. I have recently heard of a saying “Think globally, shop (or act) locally.”
After I read this article, I began watching a documentary on Netflix today, called Lost Angels. It talks about the area of Los Angeles called Skid Row, a locally well-known place that is one of the most saturated homeless populations on (I believe) the West Coast. This is a place we can help, 2/3 of the inhabitants of Skid Row are reported to having mental disabilites and/or substance abuse problems.
While I believe if we have the opportunity to help internationally if the opportunity is presented. I also adimantly believe we are not to overlook what is right next to us. Whether it be volunteering in a soup kitchen on Skid Row, giving the guy on the off-ramp a $20, or a meal.
If we really began to care about one another in the way Christ commands us to, I believe together we can strive for the end of poverty.