I thought long and hard about posting on the Sunday Scribblings prompt "money" - I had the strong suspicion that whatever I posted was going to turn into a "rant" and I don't particularly like "ranting" on my blog..... but the post would keep on forming itself in my head and eventually I felt that I may as well sit down and post it!
Obviously you find poverty wherever you go, and I am sure there are places where the contrast between abject poverty and wealth is as noticeable as it is here, so I am not trying to imply that the situation in my little corner of the globe is in any way unique, I'm simply speaking from my own personal viewpoint.
In South Africa, the differences between the "haves" and the "have nots" is glaringly obvious. You only have to drive 5-10kms down the road from my house and you will find people living in shacks, with no running water or electricity. In this country you have thousands of child-led households, siblings raising siblings, after all the adults in the family have succumbed to AIDS. Poverty is rife.
And yet, on the flip side of the coin, you find many, many millionaires and a good couple of billionaires living here too. My feeling is that these extremely wealthy people could be doing a whole lot more to help those who have nothing? I am not some closet "commie". I enjoy my creature comforts as much as the next person and I honestly believe that if you work hard for your money, then by all means you should enjoy spending it. What gets my goat are those really obscenely wealthy people who have got more money than they know what to do with and way more money than sense by the look of things.
I know that there are thousands of impoverished people who do nothing to help themselves. I get very bugged by the enormous number of teenagers (and adults for that matter) who fall pregnant when they should (and do!) know better and allow themselves to become another HIV statistic through sheer stupidity. But what about those people who didn't ask to be in the situation they are in? What about those children who are born in those shacks, who have no way of clawing their way out of their situations because they know no better?
I am sure the various "aid organisations" are trying their best (although I personally wonder how much money gets lost in the system and how much actually reaches those in need), but it is blindingly obvious that not enough is being done.
Quite frankly, I think it is too easy for the money-loaded wealthy to throw a couple of thousand at one or other aid organisation to ease their consciences - what they should be doing is getting their hands dirty and actually doing something positive in a more practical way. If every person who had a little extra that they could share would find one needy child to help, on a more personal level, they could profoundly change the course of that child's life. It's such a shame that more of them don't do it!
Okay, I will get down off my soap box at this point, I feel a whole lot better now LOL!