Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Poverty - How Much Longer Shall We Stand For It?

Earlier this morning I curled up with the late Senator George McGovern's  What It Means to Be  a Democrat written shortly before his death last year. In it he writes about his life-long commitment to end hunger through the many roles he played - from post war humanitarian aid to war ravaged Europe, as Congressman, Food for Peace Program director, Senator, and US Representative to FAO. In a word it was a commitment to his Methodist embrace of compassion.

Noted philosopher, Thomas Pogge presents a 20 minute synopsis of world poverty and how to end it in this video recorded a couple of months ago. He has helped form an international organization called Academics Stand Against Poverty. Given McGovern's and Pogge's call to action how is it there is almost no discussion of this topic on our campuses, in our newspapers, at our kitchen tables?

Perhaps some more pearls of wisdom from Wendell Berry as quoted in a New York Times article last fall from an interview he did with them from Wes Jackson's annual Prairie Festival.

“It seems to me that it’s a bad move to get into a contest between optimism and pessimism,” he said of the current political tug-of-war over agriculture and the environment. “The steadying requirement is for hope.”
And the last hope, he said, is this: “That no matter how bad things get, a person of good will and some ability can always do something to make it a little better.”