Friday, October 3, 2008

this is the fault of Girl Meets NYC

After reading Girl Meets NYC's blog, it has put a check for now on my enthusiasm to update on anything related to fashion. It's not bad. It's healthy after all. Her blog entry was like chicken soup for the soul. A good reminder that once in a while, a good guilt trip can lead to a more harmonious life. And when she was talking about living a simple life, it got me thinking a lot of our situation here at home, and how incredibly complex the issue of poverty can be.

For those of you who think in terms of black and white, poverty can easily be solved. Support policies that enable job creation, encourage export-oriented industries, subsidize agriculture, etc., a lot of economic jargon that easily equates to prosperity. A mere 1 + 1 = 2 equation that in a textbook sounds so freakishly easy. I know what the theory says. I've studied it and it sounds so beautiful. So fucking hopeful that at moments I forget how twisted the system is in the Philippines and I find my idealism rekindled.

I think most of those who live in Western societies don't know how fucking vicious the vicious cycle is. It's so deadly and all consuming, a bottom line dead end. Did you watch Blood Diamond?

Danny: Sometimes I wonder... will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago.

That is exactly how it is here. If you don't know how evil our government is, read our newspapers, read up on how bad corruption is. People don't die from an iron fist, they die through strangulation. If the government is one giant arm, the fist is encircled around the people's necks, like a noose that gets tighter and tighter. Very slow. Very painful.

And you know what makes it even weirder? The fact that this is a democratic country. You'd think we'd be able to solve that problem by electing better people. But think of the numbers. Think of the number of poor people there are, as opposed to the middle and upper class. The upper class have no care in the world and the middle class leave and immigrate elsewhere. And all we have left to care are the poor who can't think beyond the needs of tomorrow. How can a government be built by a demographic who have little understanding of economics and bank interest rates.

The difficult part to solve is the education of the uneducated. How do you correct decades worth of thinking that has solidified into culture. Government won't fund schools, they deliver outdated textbooks, and provide computers to students who don't have qualified teachers to teach them how to use it. No wonder the ignorance of the masses continue. If you've read Anna Karenina, think of Levin and his struggle with the tenants. The constant struggle between the man who has an idea with those who don't and can't change.

The cycle of poverty is much more difficult than you think. Or maybe I have begun to think this way because
my idealism is slowly fading away.

Approach a child, tell them the beauty of democracy, the elegance of the one person one vote system, and the boundless opportunities capitalism offers to the brave, and they will respond with an empty pocket, an empty stomach, and shoe-less feet.

Recently, a non-government organization donated hundreds of slippers to school children in the mountain areas. Slippers are hardly revolutionary. And yet, did you know, that by giving a poor child a pair of rubber slippers, it will help them walk the far and rugged distance from their homes to their schools? Who would have thought that a pair of slippers can help change the world. Imagine that.

1 comment:

Susanna-Cole said...
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