Posted by: drjamm | October 15, 2008

Writing about poverty

No parent should ever have to bear the agony of seeing their child go hungry.

I have found writing my Blog Action 2008 entry about Poverty to be scary. Yes, scary. Not because I am nervous about writing — I love to write. And not because I am afraid I will have nothing to say — my background in teaching university students about gender means that we often explore how women — most particularly women of colour — live below the poverty line than the “average” Canadian. And I am not scared about what other readers, not familiar with my work, will think about this spirituality blog –though I do confess to being nervous.

No, the real reason I am scared is because I simply cannot physically bear the thought of the pain parents must feel when their children go hungry. Now that I am a mother, I know that every physical, emotional, and spiritual instinct in me drives me to feed and nourish my child in every way I can. If any thing were to prevent me from that profound duty, I know I would go mad with agony, rage, and despair at the road blocks in my way of feeding my child. My spirit would writhe with the injustice of such a situation. I would try everything at my disposal to feed my child; and if I still could not find enough food, I suspect, my inner spirit would begin to die rather than bear the unbearable — my child starving.

All children have the right to be fed and housed in safe living conditions. Whenever I see the face of poverty, whether it is a child on the street, someone who cannot hold down a job because of a mental illness, or someone who suffers from government policies that ignore or compound racial and/or gender discrimination, it is my duty to notice this poverty and do what I can to alievate others’ pain. I pray that I am able to live up to my responsibility in responding compassionately wherever, and whenever, I see a person in poverty.

You may wish to watch this YouTube video on child poverty in Canada

You can also read this excellent report on Women and Poverty in Canada: Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, Fact Sheet on Women and Poverty.

(bright heart singing, copyright 2008 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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