July 24, 2011

"It's Not My Fault!" (Day 2 - July 24, 2011)

This morning I awoke to a popsicle sliding underneath my left cheek.  At least that is what it felt like . . . it was actually my hand.  My first night in the tent was met with a nifty 3C.  Hopefully tonight will be a little warmer as I obviously have some acclimatization to finish.  I am adding a blanket tonight, especially since my sleeping bag's zipper is broken.

On the flip side, I have never before so enjoyed the warm morning sunshine on my face.  It was truly glorious!  And, while in talking-about-the-weather mode, I discovered a change that has already emerged in me despite the short distance along my journey.  I now look at forecasts differently.  Daytime high . . . who cares?!?  It's the night-time low that I want to know.  I also made a mental note that with rain in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, I should probably give my "unmentionables" a rinse on Monday so that they have time to dry before the rain sets in.

I walked to and from church this morning, which also gave me the opportunity to meet up with someone whom I have not talked to for some time.  During our conversation, I let him know that I was doing That Poverty Project to raise awareness about poverty issues.  His immediate response was - "Poverty?!?  Why should I do anything about that . . . it's not my fault!"  From there he went on to mention how people should just work harder, and I noted that I have met many really hard working people in poverty situations.  Next, he reminded me how there are so many bad governments and tyrannical dictators who cause the poverty of others, to which I agreed there are some terrible governments but think that we should not ignore the victims simply because we disagree with the offender.  And, when I commented that I didn't know what I did to deserve being born here in Canada with lots of opportunities and relatively good governance as opposed to somewhere else where there is no such opportunities (. . . or peace . . . or much of anything for that matter), he slapped me with my daily dose of "Our Forefathers".  I reminded him that in many of the places struggling in the world, it was because our forefathers attacked their forefathers and supplanted the indigenous culture, thus effectively setting back their development by many generations.

As I prepare for a warmer night's sleep, with hopefully dreams of warm sunshine on my face, it occurs to me that we must be very careful when thinking of our role with respect to poverty.  Tackling poverty is not about assigning fault, but rather is about compassionately addressing the needs of another regardless of who is to blame.  The work ethic of those in need, the morality of their government, or the advances of our forefathers are not reasons to turn away from poverty, they are simply excuses to console ourselves when we turn away.  For me it comes down to loving my neighbour as myself . . . doing unto others as I would want done unto me.

Hey!!  I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.


  1. I love when u say that tackling poverty is not about assigning fault...as its not!!! And should never be...it quite simply should be passion in our human hearts that drives us..and we shoyld nor turn away!! Good luck in your continued journey..i pray the things that become clear to you are tangible examples we can all relate to.
    Thank you for doing this awesome project!

    A little Interior gal

  2. That's not funny what that guy said about "how people should work harder". What about unemployment? or lack of jobs specifically? or being unable to hold a job and having to go on welfare, aka Income Support? That guy is clueless. It has nothing to do with lack of work ethics and a lot to do with despair and loneliness. Just saying.