"We have all heard the odd story that begins, 'That's nothing...when I was young, we were so poor that the family had to.......................' and if you are like me, you have probably told the odd story now and then about your poor past. All poverty is relative, but when we get down to brass tacks, few of us have ever known real poverty in our lives.
True, many have known times of hardship when there's been no money to buy the children Christmas presents or occasions when we have had little food for a few days due to lack of money. There are some who never experienced a holiday away from home or had to walk out with holed shoes that has been inwardly reinforced with a piece of stiff cardboard which kept out the wet, but hurt if you stood on a stone. They will even be a few who hid quietly in the house while the rent man knocked in vain, etc etc etc.
But whatever we have known during our hardest of times, it is nothing compared to what some poor souls currently know everyday as their way of life. Even Satan himself could not have created the deep divide that exists between the extremes of rich and poor in the world today; only mankind could manufacture such obscenities and witness such heartache as broken and scattered families are torn apart in lands of devastation; sunk without trace upon perilous sea crossings.
In some parts of the world, poverty is represented by the total absence of food, hope and freedom. There is no sense of dignity or decency to be drawn from such sad states where the people are trapped between barbarism and brutality, wandering aimlessly between moments of despair and seeds of destruction, living in circumstances where hope no longer exists and dreams of a better tomorrow are never dreamt. Such are places where fear screams from the mouths of helpless children and despair is worn upon the faces of grieving mothers and fathers who struggle to protect their young. Here reside the hard hearts of their captors, whose gifts to their fellow man are wrapped in bouquets of barbed wire. Such is the real poverty of these poor people, the absence of freedom from war and want.
The mass exodus of refugees and migrants across Europe today, fleeing war and persecution or seeking a better life are merely the start of worse things to come if an unfair distribution between rich and poor is allowed to continue. When will we wake up and start to smell the coffee and see the misery on our doorstep; sense the revolution in the making? Has not history shown us too many times that poverty is the parent of revolution and partner to most crime? The world's poor and oppressed craves a fairness they have not received. They are hungry for action and want full stomachs, not empty words or broken promises of intent. For far too long they have had to stomach the greatest sickness of mankind; the ability of richer and more powerful countries to stop caring for those who are worse off than ourselves! A hungry person can never be a free person. It is possible you know, for a person too be so hungry, that the only way God can ever appear to them is in the form of bread!
History is written by the victors of war, it is dictated by the powerful and the poor get blamed for everything economically unsound. Whether they exist on benefits, low wages or handouts in the soup kitchens of the north or stand on the southernmost street corners begging for crumbs from passers by, it is they who are blamed for the austerity of the times, not the greedy bankers, world capitalists or prospering countries that erect trade barriers against struggling countries of the Third World.
So speak out against this evil of poverty loud and clear, this enslaver of souls and quasher of hope. As the late Baptist minister and civil rights activist, Martin King Jr., said 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.' " William Forde: March 23rd, 2016.