Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On poverty

As far as the government statistics are concerned, we live in poverty. Its devastating to know that. Well, I mean, we do not have the luxury of other people to go on holiday, to consume whatever takes their fancy and yes we do have to think before we spend out on things. We cannot purchase take out’s, we cannot go and enjoy leisure activities, we hire our games instead of buying them, and we have cut down on eating meat. We do not go shopping on a regular basis etc get the picture.
However, we do have time as a family, we talk, we eat together, we learn skills, we spend time in the garden, go for walks, wonder at the earth and the beauty, look at thunder storms and lightning, enjoy conversation, go for picnics on the beach, build birdhouses out of scrap wood, pick apples and plums, enjoy fresh eggs from our chickens, turn over compost heaps, watch lettuce grow, learn about plants and food stuff as we grow it, care for our animals and ourselves, and sleep peacefully at night. We may fulfill a government statistic that we live in poverty...but in many ways we are enriched by the experience we are living. And then there is always bread and jam..........

The point is that it is questionable how we, in the west, whose main needs are satisfied every day, can be considered living in poverty when there is actual poverty in the world, where children starve, have no fresh water, have no roof over their heads, or their parents are ill, the crops do not grow, through either a drought or war. We may live in considerable financial poverty compared to the ‘ consumer norm’ but we still find enough resources to sponsor a child in Bangladesh..... And then, there will be candles at the table, fresh soap to wash with, nice apples to eat, without any chemicals, fresh water to drink, great conversation and the enjoyment of being a family member can bring. Its a smaller life as far as statistics are concerned, but a much bigger life experience making smaller footprints on the earth and making a bigger impression on the lives of our children.

Money we may be short of, but thats probably the only thing we are short on compared to other people, time we have plenty of and we still have time for each-other.

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