How to help them?
For many, the face of poverty triggers an immediate response, pity. The most usual, and potentially worst thing we can do, whether through lack of understanding or wanting to create a temporary fix, is to open our wallet and throw money at the problem. Conversations are essential in breaking down any misconception or assumption we have, and with poverty throughout the developing world that is no different.
If we can’t understand their life, and if we haven’t lived it, we can’t tell them how to “make it better.” Our privilege tells us otherwise, but that’s the reality. If we truly want to make a difference, we have to have compassion and understanding. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
But, of course, it’s not quite that simple. So often we forget that, when a person is starving, that’s not the time to fill their head with knowledge. First you must give them a fish, banishing their hunger, and only then can you teach them how. Poverty is a real problem for so many in this world, but without being able to understand and cure the cause, we will never be able to fix the problem.