Wednesday, December 14, 2005

All I Want For Christmas is the Gift of Hope

Can Holiday Spending Impact Global Poverty?
Nathan Dungan, (WPLG-TV, Miami Fla.) Family Finance Expert

"I read some startling information the other day that hit me like an arctic cold front.

"Before I share what it was, I should tell you that I have been researching and speaking on the topic of money, values and habits for 17 years. In short, it takes something fairly extreme to stop me in my tracks. But after reading the 2005 UNICEF study --The State of the World’s Children -- I must admit that I was rendered speechless.

"The reason: the overwhelming reality of what it is going to take to reverse the inertia of global poverty, especially as it impacts children..."


I read this this morning, and the first thing I did was double-check the statistics. (For those who don't know or haven't read long enough, I research the Digital Divide and Information Poverty in the Developing World...really long white paper to be published shortly in peer-reviewed journal.)

The second thing I did: I had to look twice. A broadcaster in a large market - a financial analyst, no less - was actually looking at the socioeconomic impact of the Plague-of-Locusts consumerism by Americans during the holidays...and was contrasting that against the plagues pounding down on Africa like a sledgehammer.

People keep asking what I want for Christmas. They want to know about possessions, things, widgets.

I don't need anymore damned widgets.

If you want to give me a gift, hey, I'm not worth it. Instead, give whatever you were going to spend to legitimate charities and NGOs that can use that money to bring more hope and joy to the majority of the world.

I don't need an XBOX or a PS2. But the world needs more computing resource centers like the community telecenter in Ghana.

I don't need a DVD of Sex in the City or Desperate Housewives. I don't watch that horseshit anyway. But if you hook up the Ethiopian Women's Promotion Center, I'd be very thankful for the gift.

Not buying me a gift? Perfect. Treat yourself and have a Fair Trade Christmas. Buy yourself some fairly-traded coffee. Support your local farmer's co-ops.

All I want for Christmas is a bit of hope. I'm blessed because I have a great family, amazing friends, and live in a country where I can choose to blieve, speak, worship, and visit with whomever I please. Not everyone is so fortunate.

Happy Holidays!


Critical Darling said...

My thoughts exactly. You know, what I find really disturbing are those charities that promote going out, buy a bunch of crap and then giving it to children in the third world who "won't have a Christmas"--yeah, that's because they're starving and probably feel only contention about our religion-in-the-guise-of-consumerism holiday. The cure for poverty, as we all know, is a lot of stuff.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

here here babe........this makes you hot to me.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Its the tying hyuman existance to ownership of junk that bothers me more than anything else. For what we spend in the West on absolute shit could be used to provide amazing resources in the developing world.
You're right about the cure for poverty...there is a lot of stuff.

When did I become hot?!? ;)