The Invisible Poor

Poverty, like death, is something that is all around us, but we like to pretend it doesn’t exist and could never happen to us.

Most cultures have prejudices toward the poor. I’ve noticed this when I travel. I’ve had translators in China and Cambodia who wondered why I would want to talk to people who worked in a factory or lived in a slum. I’ve had plenty of translators and friends who’ve said things like “They talk uneducated,” and they do things because “they don’t know better.” For many of my translators, the poor in their country are as invisible to them as the poor in my own had been to me until I started to volunteer. Researchers found that tourists on slum tours in India looked at slum residents…

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Would You Save This Child?

Say Cheese!This is a pic of my son Griffin. I think you’d save him, if he needed saving. Why then do we ignore the preventable deaths of other children around the world when our actions would save their lives?  This is a challenging question and one introduced to me by Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save.

I present Singer’s thoughts in this excerpt of Where Am I Giving?:

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I threw my cell phone, dropped my laptop bag, and ran as if my life depended on it. Part of me wanted to throw up or scream or both, but I needed to focus all of my energy on running as fast as I could.

Nothing else in my life mattered in that…

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Wanderlust, It’s a Wonderful Life, & Mom

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(Mom and I with Safari Doctors in Lamu, Kenya)

A few years ago Mom told me that when she was in high school she wanted to be a travel writer. She graduated and went to a business college for a year before becoming pregnant. Mom and Dad got married in a ceremony I haven’t heard much about. They moved into a mobile home, but her life was anything but mobile. Dad worked construction and on his parents’ farm. Mom worked as a secretary for an auto manufacturer that has long since closed.

She lost the baby. His name was Michael. I’ve always felt some connection with him. If he had lived, would they have decided to have a third child after…

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