Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Poverty disturbs.

Feeling useless
I write as a disturbed questioning person tonight. Yesterday I was feeling useless because every thing I wanted to do, my medical instructions told me I should not be doing.  TV programs were rubbish so I reverted to the internet. I first checked out "recovery from TURP" operation. I was looking for some medical person who would relax the rules so I could work, lift heavy things, have sex, have a beer, run etc etc that my medical bits of paper do not allow me to do.  But all the internet sites were, if anything, more strict than the locals.
I then drifted onto UTube and began looking at documentaries.  A documentary about poverty in India. Way more than the population of the United States of America do not have access to toilets.  The consequence is extremely unhealthy living situations. The mind boggles as you think of all those people finding places to "do their business".  There was a documentary about so called "Temple Prostitutes," whole areas where women live and sell their bodies.  Another documentary was about Liberia. Beaches with piles of rubbish and piles of shit all over them. Warlords causing mayhem, acting cruelly. Corruption running rife etc. Pictures of absolutely filthy slums where thousands live. Another documentary of an African situation where a young girl was being dragged off sobbing, screaming and protesting to be married in a relationship worked out by the men folk of her family. Again absolute poverty complicated the whole situation. I looked at other similar documentaries. I realised how rich I am. We do not know how lucky we are!
Local poverty
I have been invited to be involved with a group looking into the needs of "vulnerable single men" in Dunedin. They sent me some minutes of discussions so far. I read them and thought of the men of the drop-in centre we used to run at the church. I am also involved with Dunedin's Night Shelter. There always seem to be issues to cope with. We need funds to buy the property we currently rent and just to keep the doors open - operational funds. Having looked at these documentaries I want to yell at the guys using the shelter, "You are not poor!" I find myself sometimes getting frustrated with some because they seem to bring their predicaments on themselves. Now I know poverty is all relative and I know the causes of addictions, hopelessness and poverty run a lot deeper than a "they deserve it" summation, but I wish I knew answers! 
How do we swing around the growing number of people in NZ on the bottom of the heap with no sense of hope?
What can we do for the millions in real poverty throughout the world? 
All are our brothers and sisters. Those prostitutes in India living terrible lives are my sisters. Those kids on the Liberian beach picking through the rubbish, pooing in the sand, and killing other kids because their warlords told them to are my brothers.  There is a real sense of hopelessness here in NZ and "over there" among the millions in sad poverty stricken, often war torn situations. Tonight because of my sickness I feel useless, overwhelmed and disturbed. More than that, I feel somewhat selfish... I once was on the "coal-face" now I hide away in relative selfish isolation.
And I go to Church and hear a mind numbing dissertation on "temptation" and a whole lot of religious cliches. Sigh! As I say, disturbed and questioning.
Eight boxes of books go.
Today I loaded eight boxes of books, mostly theological books, commentaries and "Church" centred books into the van and donated them to the local "Regent Theatre 24 hour booksale". Some were good books. Many were books I once read but now found irrelevant. I was pleased to see them go. I will start accumulating the next lot. I have plenty.


Linda Myers said...

"There but for the grace of God..."

I'm now taking online, free, not-for-credit classes on a variety of subjects. Keeps me from wandering around too much on the internet.

Mike Crowl said...

What were you doing loading books, Dave? Carting heavy boxes around is a no-no at your stage of recovery!