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Take action against poverty

October 17, 2009
Pumpkin cut into a Halloween lantern

Pumpkin cut into a Halloween lantern

My daughter and I went shopping in town today. We’re not regular shoppers (not counting the weekly food shop, natch), but do enjoy the bus ride into town occasionally and browsing our favourite shops (Lush, Lakeland, Evolution (I’m trying to relive my youth but without actually purchasing incense sticks) and, of course, any bookshops).

For the most part we were Christmas shopping – presents for my nieces, something for Abigail’s reception teachers, and so on. But wandering along the high street, and giving some cash to a busker who, if not actually homeless, clearly enjoys a different standard of living to me and those walking past and ignoring him, I felt a little queasy (alright, a little queasier than usual) at the rampant commercialism on the high street.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t buy anything – but who really needs the quantities of plastic Halloween tat that’s being peddled? And, when so much of the world’s resources are used by so few, we – the few – have a great responsibility to try and even things out.

In this season of spending, we can all do our bit to take action against poverty. You could pledge a small regular payment to charity, or you could pop into your local Oxfam shop and pick up one of its Unwrapped catalogues. Small actions can make a big difference, so choose yours and take a step to making poverty a thing of the past. Because poverty is not just being too poor to buy a glow-in-the-dark bat, or a pumpkin-shaped candy bucket. Poverty affects every aspect of life – your health, your education, your-well-being. It’s shitty – to be blunt – and not something I’d want for anyone I know. And because I’m the kind of person to set up this kind of blog, it’s not something I want for anyone.

So, forgo that set of sparkly devil horns and put £2 in an Oxfam collection box instead (other poverty-alleviating charities are available and equally condoned in this context).

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