“The Poor Are More Deserving…”

Paul Farmer gives me hope. Not only as a doctor and anthropologist, but as a social justice advocate/activist. 

I have been reading one of his most recent works, “Pathologies of Power” in which he describes how poverty is a human rights issue. We hear a lot about human rights. In the United States there seems to be a discourse that we already have all the rights we need, but we don’t. But I digress. Paul Farmer is determined and motivated to to help the world’s poor in a way that non-profit organizations haven’t been able to do. 

I enjoy Farmer’s attitude and I think it comes from the things he has witnessed. I think that if we all witnessed the world’s ills first hand we would be more inclined to be activists. I find it telling that those who are activists are almost always people who have experienced some kind of trauma and/or seen trauma. 

So, when Farmer says that the poor are more deserving of resources than the rest of us I agree. Those who live in poverty in the United States and beyond deserve more of a chance to survive than those of us who don’t need to work as hard to do so. For me, I would be willing to give up some of my comforts so that those who have nothing can have something. These aren’t handouts or charities but proof of being a decent human being, I think. 

And remember: can we really believe in meritocracy when over 2 billion people in the world are living in poverty? When 80% of the world lives on less than $10 a day? 

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One thought on ““The Poor Are More Deserving…”

  1. Though I once lived in relative comfort, I am now, much to my amazement, impoverished. And yes, traumatized.. One thing I have learned is that poverty is an industry. I am no Christian, but I always remember how Jesus said, “The poor you shall always have with you.” I guess He, or His “biographer” forgot to mention that a whole lot of people would become unemployed if WE were not unemployed. It’s been a veritable cornucopia of case “managers” who won’t manage, and illiterate folks who are daily taken advantage of rather than say… taught how to read and how to become fairly self sufficient…

    I’ll say it again: Poverty is an industry, fed by the prison industrial complex, and sustained by “good Christians” who donate their clothing with *shoulder pads* for us to wear, and their old, moldy bread and donuts, which they’d rather not simply feed to their dogs…

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