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Why is global poverty something the average person should or should not be concerned...

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channing97 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM via web

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Why is global poverty something the average person should or should not be concerned about?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:12 PM (Answer #1)

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This is an issue that is not going to go away anytime soon, and it is probably something everyone should be concerned about.  Paul Hewson, also known as "Bono", the lead singer of the Irish band U2 has said before that if Americans, or anyone, really, truly believed that "all men are created equal", then we as human beings would be making every effort available to end global poverty.  Bono usually speaks specifically about Africa, as he has spent a great deal of time there doing humanitarian work, particularly in relation to getting AIDS anti-virals distributed to those in need--but given the scope of work he has done over the years, it is safe to assume that he would say the same about extreme poverty anywhere. 

On another moral note, anyone who knows anything about Jesus of Nazareth knows that he had plenty to say about humankind's responsibility to help anyone who does without or is suffering in some way.  There are plenty of examples to illustrate what he believed, among them the following from the Book of Matthew:

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." 

And from the Book of Luke:

. . .when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Finally, on a more practical note, global poverty leads to hopelessness and despair; the same kind of despair that might cause a young person in the inner city to turn to a gang for protection, belonging, and possibly illicit resources, might also cause a family to surrender to the lure of a group like the Taliban, who might promise a young man food for his family if the young man agrees to train for the "jihad".  When people lose hope, they will often make decisions that they would never make under better circumstances.  Many of the pirates operating on the coast of Somalia are known to be individuals whose fishing livelihoods were decimated by foreign ships fishing illegally and dumping toxic waste in the waters off the coast.  Angry at the actions of these foreigners and seeing no other way to feed their families, many fishermen turned to piracy of merchant ships simply to protect themselves and feed their families.  Clearly, these kinds of situations will always affect the international community when use of international waters comes into conflict with the usually meager livelihoods like the fishermen off the coast of Africa, making them more difficult to ignore. 

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