Whether we are reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, or sharing in a discussion at our local coffee shop, the message seems to be loud and clear. Inequality is alive and well and the gap appears to be growing wider by the day.
Occupying financial districts and other areas of interest is ongoing, unrest and clashes around the globe are now part of everyday life, and closer to home Homelessness Action Week 2011 has come and gone. Through all this there is a common thread.We all know in our hearts that as long as there is deep poverty living systematically side by side with great riches, we all remain the poorer for it.
If you look around the world at the countries that are healthier, happier and more secure, they are the most equal countries. Instead of accepting each other as equals on the basis of our common humanity as we might in more equal surroundings, “getting the measure of each other” becomes more important as status differences widen.
Our community is one and as individuals we are many, but we cannot bring about change single-handed.
Homelessness Action Week resulted in an enhanced awareness of the need to narrow the inequality gap and bring about change in our community. In our own unique way we all have the ability to bring about change recognizing that there are times when we all need a helping hand. Without action and the desire to narrow the gap, we are simply a voice in the wilderness. Seeking an end to poverty is a far better solution than continuing to fund the ongoing treatment of it.
To quote from Marshall Sahlins in Stone Age Economies, “Poverty is not a certain small amount of goods, nor is it just a relation between means and end; above all it is a relation between people.Poverty is a social status… it has grown… as an invidious distinction between classes.”
We can be advocates for change… it’s in all of us.
Chris Ingles, Nelson