October 15, 2008

The Curse of Poverty

I have become more and more convinced that I, that we, should be doing more. Despite the recent problems in the economy, despite the talk of a global recession, we have so much.

Like many people, I lost a huge chunk of my net worth over the last few months, having been heavily invested in the stock market. While it has been depressing to watch the news and watch my IRA balance, I have been otherwise unaffected. I still have an apartment, I still have plenty to eat, I still have a TV and a Wii and a computer and access to the Internet. In fact, if I lost all of my savings, all of my possessions, and only had my last paycheck, I would still have more money than 80% of the people in the world make in a year. In fact, even those at the poverty line ($10,400 for one person) in America are in the top 13% of earners in the world!

How To Help

  • I am a huge fan of Kiva as a way for me to give some of my (relatively) untold wealth to those who have not had the great fortune to be born in a Western country. Please feel free to join the Kiva Mormons team that I founded.

  • Another great way to help is through fasting. Members of my church forgo two meals for one day each month, and donate the money to help the needy.

  • There are many, many other ways to help. Find something you are passionate about, and get involved. Just do something.

Our humanity is defined by the way we treat The Other - those without a voice, without opportunity, and without the ability to reciprocate. Christ spent his time with the publicans, the Samaritans, and fisherman. Should we not do more for the Forgotten in our society?