Tag Archives: poverty

What would you change in the world if you could change anything?

Q. What would you change in the world if you could change anything?

A. This question immediately brought to mind the song “If I Could Change the World” by the one and only Eric Clapton. If you have not heard this song, you need to. The entire song is about his love for this woman and how he would change it so she felt just as strongly for him as he does for her. Sappy romance songs by fabulous guitarists are like bread and butter to me.  What I love the most is how he chooses one person to change because his priority is to be loved as much as he already loves. Would I choose the same thing? Some days I would. Today, I would not. Today, I don’t think I would change anything.

There are a lot of things in this world I do not agree with and am not happy about, and things in this world that are worth changing. Things like violence, greed, selfishness, loneliness, natural disasters, all of these things are worth changing. Because I believe all these things will be restored to an even better condition than I could wish for I would leave those wishes for someone actually capable of doing it. For now, here, today, part of what our society needs is to be able to find peace and contentment with all of these terrible things going on. It is a struggle which proves to provide a steady character and nature which is something to be desired in everyone. World peace is a desire worthy to seek after, but will only happen when all individuals are dedicated to it. Dedication typically comes with time and effort, not in an instant. The good things in this world are worth fighting for and even more so they are worth the time it takes. Time is in limited quantities on this earth and has a positive correlation to how valuable something is.  To change something for the better in an instant is to devalue the very thing you’re fighting for. If I may refer again to Clapton’s song, I do want a man eventually who wants me that much, but it would mean all the world for him to prove it instead of magically wishing it. If you like  you can think of this blog as a cop-out answer, but this is my answer: I would change nothing.

Let’s keep the questions rolling, I only have a few left to answer!

For Monday: Love Wins: Too Bad I Don’t Know What Love Is. A look at the up and coming book by Rob Bell.

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Should I give money to panhandlers?

Q: I’ve been thinking a lot about the poor recently. Should I give money to panhandlers?  Do you?  What if they might buy booze with it?  Does it matter? Should you instead support them another way? Like how?  Since America’s poor are relatively better off than in many other countries, should we donate more money to the poor around the world than locally?

A:  First off, if you are an adult and in charge of your money, you can give money to whoever you want despite any taboos against it. Does the average panhandler deserve your money? That is an entirely different question and will be circumstantial on who the panhandler is and your relationship with said panhandler. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people weigh in on the issue and while they are split as to whether or not actual currency should be involved, the majority typically agree that something should be done to help. When it comes to possible booze buying or potentially helping someone in a harmful addiction by supplying them with cashflow, use your best judgement and the rest is out of your control. If they are holding a brown paper special with a bottle in it, probably best to give them fresh clean socks to wear or buy them a meal. If however they are a family near a gas station that have a broken down vehicle that you have never seen panhandling before, money may be the best thing to get them up and running. There is also an idea regarding Conditional Cash Transfers that are essentially small loans or payments to the poor on the condition they use it to better their situation. For more insight into CCT’s I recommend David Stupay‘s recent blog which has a few helpful links as well.

As for the question, “should we donate more money to the poor around the world than locally?” Why do we need to choose one or the other? Regardless of the american lower class being relatively better off, they are still people who need help and at times it is easier to help those who are in your own backyard than across the globe.  I also believe in being a part of a global community and believe that we have the wealth here in America to make a difference.  All that being said I know that there are varying reasons to choose either local or global, and to that I say to each his own.  The beauty of living in a community is when we all start doing our part to help one another we have the ability to reach everyone.

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