Poverty

From what I know of Christianity, taking care of the poor is something that is very important. I live in a rich country and rely heavily on welfare because of a very small income. In my country I am poor. I sometimes have to ask friends and family for money and food. But I have a roof over my head, clean running water and sanitation, heat for when it’s cold, and food in my cupboards most of the time.

I have young friend in a refugee camp in Ghana, a survivor of the Liberian war and all the atrocities that came with that and the Ebola out break that happened recently. He lives in a wooden shack with a roof that doesn’t keep out the rain. He lives there with his grandmother and some children he’s found, orphaned and living in the streets. He works at an internet cafe but the owners all too often don’t pay him because he is barely more than a child himself and they see his labour as they would a slave’s. His little family have now not eaten for a couple of days and only have access to filthy water.

His faith is strong and that gives him the hope and strength to survive from one day to the next. He greatly misses the parents who were murdered in front of him during the war he fled from. He missed out on finishing school so has no educational qualifications to help him work out of poverty. But yet he has hope that it will get better. He loves and cares for more than himself, he will go without food so that his grandmother and the children he has brought in can eat when food is available. Isn’t it always the people who have the least that give the most.

I want to make his grandmother a shawl to keep her warm at night as it gets so cold. I want to send water sterilising tablets and some rice, perhaps a few books. But looking at the restrictions for what can be sent to Ghana from the UK on the Royal Mail website it looks like even this may be impossible. I have emailed the Ghana Post Office for further advice. I may not be able to help a whole refugee camp but if I can make just this one family’s life just a little more tolerable it’ll make a difference that will hopefully have a knock on effect.

Charity is close to my heart, I have suffered many hardships in my life and survived. I know what it’s like to be abused, to be exiled, to have no food, to have no one near. I don’t know what it’s like to live like my young friend at the extreme end, but I know how horrible it was for me.

Jesus preached charity for the deserving, although I see many people who call themselves Christians getting fat on the profits of capital success. There are many religious people who still believe in charity. Look at the Pope, sneeking out of the Vatican at night to feed the poor! I actually meet more non religious that are charitable these days. All are faithful though, all have a calling within themselves to do what is right and good. I am also an Anarchist. Anarchists believe that you should do what is right and good for all people. We do not need a governing body to tell us who is worthy and who isn’t, we just go through our lives doing the best we can and treating everyone we meet as kindly as we can. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t hurt anyone else while you do it and preferably you better things for everyone.

I can’t say there is anyone in this world that I have had the pleasure to have contact with that I do not love. I may not like all of them very much, but I love each and every one of them. I hope for the best for all of them, none are less worthy than any of the others. Whether they have done right or wrong, whether I have been done right or wrong by them, I hope the best for them. Religion might say I have forgiveness, I just see it as everyone’s right to be wrong.

I will campaign until the day I die for equality among humans, from the fat cats of capitalism down to the people searching for food in refugee camps. I hope that one day the collective human conscience will kick into gear and no one will go without their basic needs for a good life, not just for their survival. I will probably not live to see the day but this is the sermon I preach to my children. Go through life and be the best you can be without hurting anyone, give what you can to those less fortunate, don’t judge because everyone has a story you don’t know, listen to everyone you meet, someone always has some knowledge you haven’t got and vice versa, never stop learning or teaching. Sometimes I think I am more religious than a lot of people who pray to God. If you read the scriptures there is so much hope there, but you have to act to make that hope a reality, it’s not enough to pray to your chosen god and expect someone else to do it for you. I have no god, I do not pray, I get up and I do, just what the Bible scriptures teach the religious to do.

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