blogging gobbledygook and such

My last year’s post for Blog Action Day (Environment)

See that cute thing twirling at the top right corner of my blog? Now, I’ve admitted before that the reason it’s up there is because it’s a cute widget (how common are twirling widgets, I ask you??) but I also think it’s a great initiative started by Bono of U2 fame to help the global poverty crisis, particularly in Africa.

Okay, poverty. I’m the last person to know what it’s like to live in poverty. Even though I moan a lot about my life, it is a princess’s life compared to a life in poverty.

If you look at poverty like a game (even though it’s not, it’s very much real and happening as we speak, anywhere and everywhere), it’s like you’re playing a game without a strategy. You know how if you want to get to the next level of a game, you have to conserve your ammo and try not to use up the remaining two lives you have left so that you have a better chance of surviving the next level? Well, in the game of Poverty, as much as you strategise, shit will just happen and it requires you to use up all you’re saving for the next level, just to survive in this one. Poverty is the most difficult kind of game that you cannot even strategise for the next level; just surviving the current one is using up all your energy and wits.

People believe the only way to beat the Poverty game is through Education. Which is sort of true – Education can be a key out of Poverty, in the right circumstances. But it’s not very easy to gain Education, is it? I mean, if Poverty makes you barely able to survive this level, how will you gain Education to survive the next level better?

What people in the Poverty game need is a Leg Up. They need help, in the form of Education, Finance and Friendship, among the many Leg Ups they need. The Government tries to help, of course – that’s partly what taxes are used for. The NGOs and big corporate companies try to help too. Yet why is it that the rich gets richer, and the poor poorer?

Maybe it’s because it’s the Rich People’s Game. They dictate the rules of the Poverty game which makes people in this game unable to beat it. So how do we topple the people who dictate Poverty?

That’s the cheat sheet nobody has managed to find, unfortunately.

I don’t really have a point to make in this post. I just feel sad that the majority of people around this world are deprived of basic human rights and needs in the poorer parts of the world. I admit that I am not contributing to the fight to eradicate poverty, because I’m cynical of beggars on the streets and I do not know of a local, reputable organisation to make a contribution to that will channel donations to people in poverty. I mean, there are plenty of charitable organisations, but I’m just not sure how donations are used exactly. It’ll be nice if I could donate RM50 (USD$15) to some organisation and then later on I get a picture of a mud hut in Africa and that apparently I helped to build that hut for an African family. It’ll be more reassuring if donations can be visualised in that sense. I admire people like Bono U2 who uses his fame for something altruistic, like initiating a cause to fight poverty. At the very least, self-absorbed people like me are aware of issues like this thanks to people like him. 🙂

Meanwhile, I will keep my eyes peeled for a local, reputable organisation to donate to in the cause of poverty.


This post is part of Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty

Comments on: "Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty" (9)

  1. *thumbs up* you can donate to/work with Amnesty International.

    sulz: i not so noble yet as to work with charity organisations heh. there’s an ai in malaysia hor? do we get receipts for donations or not? curious.

  2. yes, you get recipts for donations. The service you donate to should actually share where your money went. In India, mst people do not donate because there is no trnasparentcy about where their went. They have huge (and reasonable distrust) even when asked to donate for a catastrophe. They want to help but are not sure due to corruption.

    sulz: okay, no random donating for me anymore! i’m getting cynical about this issue too. 😦 in malaysia there seems to be no practice of issuing receipts for donations.

  3. I find that people are in poverty for one reason, and one reason alone: irresponsibility (at least, in the United States; in third world countries, I’d imagine the situation if awful and not conducive to folks ascending on the socioeconomic ladder).

    What constitutes irresponsibility? Bad parenting and bad work ethics. Those two contribute the most to people living under the poverty line. Sadly, the poor living conditions force single parents to work day and night just so their family can eat, while the kids are at home without a parent to really help them learn. Without a parent at home to really teach them, they don’t fully mature, and are more apt to do worse in school, resulting in more poverty/low class living for the family. It’s sad and I’ve seen a lot of examples of it where I live.

    sulz: i’m inclined to agree with you to some extent. it’s a difficult cycle to break, however; pretty clear from your description. that’s why they need leg ups!

  4. I agree with leapsecond to some extend.

    One another reason is bad family planning. The average rich/middle class couple have two kids who are given good education and end up in good life-standards. The poor ones have 5 or 8…none of them receive any education (most are drop-outs even at the free govt edu level) and carry on the life their parents live — loitering around, begging, wasting away life.

    Corruption is the sole cause why money doesn’t always reach its intended destination. Solution is to provide it hands-on — provide for a child’s requirements for education — dress, books, fees, basic tutoring etc — you know it’s being received! Money will fall into the wrong hands always!

    Nice post! And a nice thought. 🙂

    sulz: yeah, and bad family planning boils down to lack of sex education. thank you. 🙂 you know they say it’s the thought that counts? funny, i don’t see any money being counted for this! 😛

  5. Education and population control are two things which have to be emphasized in this hour. And I don’t know what to say about corruption. The law makers are the law breakers.

    sulz: yes, quite succinctly put!

  6. Nice analogy. Very well put, and sadly very true.

    sulz: thanks. 🙂 too bad we can’t do a blogathon huh? a cent for every hit in the cause for poverty!

  7. I like your comparison of life in poverty with a game with no good posibilities of a decent strategy.

    It’s been proven that giving money to beggers never fixes anything. However, I still think that if I was a begger at least I’d be able to get something to munch on. *sigh*

    sulz: thanks. 🙂 yeap – but see, if you were a beggar in the first place, i’d think you’d be too naive to actually cheat. 😛 you wouldn’t do begging strategies like keeping all the money so that your cup looks empty all the time. you’d just concentrate on looking as pathetic as possible to get the money. :mrgreen:

  8. Very thoughtful. It’s a little sad to think of it as game one cannot win. I think population awareness is a HUGE part of all this. There are plenty of people on the planet now for the resources we have available; yet, with proper planning I believe there really can be a good life for all.
    This is cool. I remember some of us doing Blog Action Day last year, and now here we are again. 🙂

    sulz: one of the many sad things in life… hehe, yeap, and i remember it was you who persuaded me to do that post! 😉 i think it’s good for me to write about issues i’m not well-versed about every now and then – forces me to put on my thinking cap a bit! 🙂

  9. In India donations get tax exemption yet people dont donate for reasons Poonam cited. Maybe u could search for UNICEF or CRY on internet and donate to them.

    sulz: i don’t blame them – people want to make sure their money is used as they expect it to be, and if they are not 100% sure if that’s what going to happen, they rather not give at all in most cases. i sure wouldn’t.

    i’ve not done any monetary transactions online before, so i’ll just stay with local versions of international organisations. 🙂 besides, i want my receipt (even though i’m not taxable yet, lol)!

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