The Real Poverty

Indonesia

[pullquote author="The Economist" foo="bar"]The richest 1% of adults control 43% of the world's assets; the richest 10% have 83%; the bottom 50% have only 2%.[/pullquote] I saw this on the Economist tumblr the other day and it just struck a chord. Even looking at that fact, I don't think I completely understand what that even means with regards to me personally. Cause to be honest, we, as Americans, have a hard time comprehending this notion of poverty and wealth. Our spectrum of the rich to the poor is very different from the real scale. "Accounting for every man, woman and child in the U.S., Americans spend an average of $0.20 per day on cosmetics, perfume and skin and hair care products; over $0.50 a day on jewelry; nearly $3 on furniture and other household goods; over $3 per day on clothing; gambling totals almost $6 per day; over $7 a day is spent on automobiles and trucks; and over $9 on food." That means we spend nearly $30 dollars a day on average without even including housing. Now to us $30 might not seem like an exorbitant amount, but if you look at it from the world's perspective and how nearly 3 billion people live on under two dollars a day and 1.1 billion of whom live on less than one dollar a day, it's ridiculous. Americans on average spend in a single day what 1 out of 6 people make in a month.

Thinking about all of this reminded me of how I felt when I was in Jakarta. I saw these luxurious high rise buildings next to slums built out of trash on top of graveyards. It made me sick to think that people that wealthy could live without any compassion for their neighbors living in such poverty. The most disheartening fact for me is that I'm no different. The situation is no different than if my neighbor's house was on fire and I was just standing there watching with a bucket of water. I'm tired of reading about all these issues and thinking "aw, I wish I could do something". The fact of the matter is that I can do something, I can help. So here is how I've chosen to respond to this and maybe you'll want to join also. One Day's Wages is this amazing charity organization that is trying to give everyday people a practical way of helping. It's roughly 0.4% of your annual salary so it's not much for us, but it is significant to the people receiving it.. The best part of One Day's Wages is that you can choose where your money goes.

Also I hope nobody was discouraged by this for any reason. Thats not what I intended and in fact this was written to encourage. We absolutely can make a difference and I just wanted to show one way people can help. Every little bit counts to the greater cause. So how about it? Lets change the world!

Here is a little video intro about One Day's Wages for those who haven't heard about it. Donate Here!

Here are just a couple pictures of when I went to Indonesia.

Team DarjakMel and a little girl Katie with some girlsAn Indonesian BoyJakarta This is the dichotomy I'm talking about.