I grew up in Indonesia where poverty remains a problem for the majority of the people. Those pictures might as well be photos from my day-to-day life. Yet, I feel that I have been very well shielded from it (as most others middle/upper class families' kids have).
Only since I've moved to Australia that I realised that there are lots of people in Indonesia who is living way below the standard (in terms of food, clothes and housing). I'm not saying I've never seen beggars/homeless people in Jakarta. I definitely have. But, in my head, it was a normal thing to have beggars and that it didn't need to change and that there was nothing to be done. I'm not sure if it was what we were taught to do, or it is just me. I grew up thinking it's normal to only care about our own survival, focusing on getting the best of the best for ourselves and our family.
Recently I was made well-aware of the fact that something can be done to help those people. Something should be done. I could help. I could contribute. Instead of just watching, or even worse, ignoring, the growth of this issue. I want to help.
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -- The Dalai Lama
"What goes around, comes around." -- Unknown Author
"Conscious Evolution & [read my older post, The Meaning of Life]"
And last but not least, helping others provides a much better rewards than accumulating wealth or personal experience. I mean, I can only eat/buy/travel so much. Yet, all the materials in the world will never be enough - I'm sure I'll continue to want more and more and more. Hence, it's much better to focus on contributing to make the world a better place for everyone.
Now that I've established the fact that I could, should and want to help, what I am doing about it? Well, for a start, I'm going through the 88 Ways to DO Something About Poverty Right Now - Blog Action Day 2008 list and will work on applying a few of them.