Today is the day we, the blogging community worldwide, are to give our attention to the subject of Poverty. We have been asked to use our blog to focus on this issue on this day, the 15th of October, 2008. So many blogging individuals will be doing what I am doing right here and the butterfly effect of this action may bring change, who knows what changes will ensue, but it is kind of inspiring and empowering to see what may happen. The Blog Action Day Website must be inundated right now because I can’t get through. That’s kinda pretty cool too.
What is Blog Action Day?
Today thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue – poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!
So here’s my view, well not really a view but my feelings about this subject.
This came to me yesterday … There was a knock at my door yesterday and I opened it to see an older bearded man through the screen door mesh. It could have been Sir Richard Attenborough but it wasn’t. I opened the door and I said hi hesitantly assuming that I might be on the receiving end of some gospel truths. He then said, ‘My name is … Griffiths. I stumbled a bit but then said, “Did you live here once!” A friend had once told me that the Griffiths lived here once and as soon as he mentioned his name, that conversation with a friend came to me. The Griffiths lived in our house from 1938 – 1952. Harry was born when they first moved into this house. The Griffiths had just renovated this house, from a Victorian to a triple fronted Art Deco masterpiece complete with beautifully landscaped gardens. I had so many questions about this house. He came in and we talked about this house and his family. It is one of the loveliest conversations I have had with another human being of recent times, one that I didn’t know but shared something with. We are about to renovate this house as it is in quite a state of disrepair. I mentioned to Harry that what we love about this house and indeed what most visitors comment about is the general good feeling that flows in and between the walls of this house. ‘Ahh’, he said, ‘this house has always had good karma’ – he knew what I was talking about. He said there was much love in this house with his parents entertaining regularly, with a garden that was well loved and a community that was very connected. His mother had a wonderful vegetable garden, they played cricket in the backyard (5 brothers) that once stretched 40 metres. He also said that he knew all the people who moved into the house after his family left right up until the 80s and they were all good people. Everyone was friendly with everyone – a neighbourhood alive with connectedness. So, to the subject of poverty. I think there is a great poverty in our lives, a disconnectedness, a cutting off and segregation, that shields us from a real view of the world, of what is happening just over the fence, let alone the world of real poverty which is so beyond our tiny worlds that we barely give it a thought. I think it is because we have reduced our lives to thinking about me and my needs, not you and yours and ours. I don’t think poverty will change on a global level until we address it on an individual level. I think it is about living simply as Harry and his family did, about offering support in the community, and simply, really simply having less and knowing that this carries more happiness than having more, then sharing some, “charity begins at home”, “be the change you want to see in the world” and living it. I live this a little then leave it, and my unhappiness brings me back – it is a journey that starts, then falters, then begins all over again. It is to do with one individuals’ happiness. For me, it is wasting less, there is so much waste, so much disposal, and I know it doesn’t make me happy, quite the reverse in fact, making the most of what we have, using everything we purchase, every last vegetable and piece of fruit to turn into something for the family, turning our gardens into our very own produce paradise, nurturing, watching it grow and sharing it and enjoying the process.
The generation before us saved everything, used it again in someway, shared it with their neighbours and opened the door to their community. I plan to create a large produce garden in my front yard, I would like a seat in the front garden for old people to sit down on and enjoy the garden, I would like to put out excess produce from my garden and share it with my neighbours. The thought of this makes me happy would make my life rich and if this small action spreads beyond me the individual, to my neighbour, to other Melburnians, to other Australians, to local politicians and then world leaders, then we put what is important on the front page, we make the news, we turn our actions into a global action. We create the change. I am off to plant some vegies to share with my family, friends and neighbours. If I am less needy I have so much more to give! Multiply these thoughts, these actions a billion fold and then some, well then I don’t think Poverty would be an issue …