Two thoughts come to mind when I think about poverty. Firstly, we have a lot to learn from poor people. Secondly, we can help in many ways. Here’s how you can help the poor around the world.
How you can help the poor
1. Stop pitying them
The poor need money, but also dignity. They are not lesser in any way just because they have less. In actual fact, in some ways they have more than we do.
I remember a woman in Vietnam serenely peddling her wares from a small boat in the midst of the most beautiful scenery, while the tourists buying from her had spent a lot of money and time just to enjoy a few days there. The tourists were going back to a hectic life while she clearly was able to enjoy the minutes as they slowly passed.
2. Learn from them
I have seldom seen anyone as happy as I saw some poor children in India. Their home was a blanket stretched across an overturned table. Yet they laughed a lot and played freely in the streets. I’m not convinced that we are any better off than those children. In our quest to acquire more, we have lost much of the simple joys of life.
3. Realise we are poor too
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” – Mother Teresa
According to Mother Teresa, there are more poor people in developed societies than in poorer countries. This is because more people in big cities, though not lacking in material wealth, are poor in spirit because of loneliness.
4. Adopt a charity
Regularly donate part of your monthly income to a charity. Find a cause you support. If you don’t know where to start, consideror Save The Children until you find something else that tugs at your heartstrings.
5. Give an education
Education is the way out of the poverty trap for many families. By sponsoring a child’s education, you can change a person’s future and raise the standard of living for her family. GiveIndia allows US and UK taxpayers to enjoy tax benefits when you sponsor a child in India.
I feel so humbled writing this post. I’ve found so many organisations worldwide whose mission is to help the poor. This helped me realise the enormity of the problem, and showed me that we can do something to help the poor if we really care.