I will readily admit, I’m a comfortable, consumerist yank and I don’t know jack about poverty. Which is pretty much why I wanted to tackle the topic of poverty and join in the discussion for Blog Action Day 08. BTW, Blog Action was Oct 15, so I’m running late.
What I DO know is poverty is a real and serious issue, and way more important than game, pickup, social artistry, and blogging about dirty sex. Peeps who live in abject poverty don’t concern themselves with getting their dating life handled or strengthening inner game. They concern themselves with eating and surviving.
Here’s a message for the pimps, players, and PUA’s out there:
Game is great, but you better have deeper things going on in your life. If you don’t, find some causes and find ways to make the world a better place. That’s the best advice I can give anyone right now. One of my favorite pickup bloggers, Tyler Durden, has recently launched himself into the self-help industry, and reading his stuff really turned me on to this.
I distinctly remember when I grasped the monumental difference between me and the impoverished. I was in Taiwan for a sporting event, and I happen to be walking around the small town I was in with some teammates. We spent the afternoon browsing a city market, and as we were walking back to our hotel, we took a few wrong turns and ended up in a ghetto. Most of the buildings had open windows and doors (no air conditioning) and we could see inside the homes. The scenes in the homes were gritty, with miserable living conditions and too many people sharing tiny spaces. I recall this dialogue:
Me: “Man, it would really suck to live in one of those.”
Teammate: “Yeah. We got lucky in the gene pool lottery.”
And that’s when it struck me, I AM lucky to have been born into the situation I was born into, I AM lucky to be able to go out and eat and drink and hit on chicks and blog about it, and that there are billions of people on the planet and most of them have a lesser quality of life than I do, and many of them are impoverished. Ugh. Reality check.
I haven’t dedicated my life to a lofty cause like ending poverty, but in my own small way I feel like I’m contributing to my community and helping young people. My way is by coaching the sport that I coach and teaching them what I know about values and inspiring them to do well in their lives.
Here are a couple of other (small) ways to make a difference:
1. Drink Fair Trade coffee and don’t support douchebag corps like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Did you know that many Central and South American coffee farmers are paid a pittance for their coffee (sometimes as little as $.50 per pound) and that many of them can’t make a living? The majority of Starbucks coffee isn’t fair trade and Dunkin Donuts, the largest coffee retailer in the world, offers only their expresso coffee from fair trade. Go online and order a couple of pounds of fair trade coffee for the house and while you’re at it, support local coffee shops that pay good prices for their beans.
Not a coffee drinker? Look for fairly traded tea, bananas, honey, and other products.
2. Go to a farmer’s market and buy locally grown produce, which, obviously, supports farmers in your area. Be sure to ask if the produce you’re buying is locally grown or if it’s an import.
3. Do micro-finance with kiva.org. Micro-finance loans help entrepeuners from developing countries start a business and get out of poverty. These loan can be relatively affordable for yanks, like a couple of hundred bucks.
There’s my two cents on poverty. What ways are you making a difference? Leave in comments.
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