Friday, December 09, 2011

An Interesting Observation About Poverty In Canada as observed while listening to the CBC.

Yesterday while driving, I had the opportunity to listen to a CBC program that wasn't somehow linked to the station's open support and promotion of the GLBT agenda.  It was a nice change.

Instead, I listened to a national call-in show about "what it is like to be poor in Canada".   I found it fascinating.  As someone that is involved with trying to address some small portion of poverty in a third world country in sub-Saharan Africa, I was very effectively awakened to the real poverty right here at home.  Something that clearly needs to be addressed by all of us at the national, provincial, municipal, neighbourhood, family, and individual level.  We need to do our part not just at this Christmas season but consistently throughout the year.  Local food banks are a good place to start -- find out where they are, call them and see how you can help.

But here's what I found most interesting.  Perhaps it was the segment of the show I listened to, but all three of the callers I had occasion to hear that were sharing "what it was like to be poor in Canada today" were once well off.  So, what happened?

Well, it's true that one of them lost his job right out of the blue and was thrown for a loop.  Two of them including this one who had lost his job were single parents.  One of them had two luxury cars in her driveway one day, then woke up to a 'divorce', and went on to become broke fighting her husband in the courts for support.  To boot, one of the single parents was now thinking about going back to school (perhaps something they should have done as a priority beforehand).

What was common to all three of these situations -- the only ones I heard that day (and admittedly, we should be careful not to paint every poor person with a broad brush here) -- but at least all of the ones I heard had one thing in common and that was "a broken marriage".

In the case of the woman who lost her two luxury cars, it was a matter of going broke fighting in the court systems.  In the cases of the single parents, it was a matter that when one of them lost his job, there was no life partner there to help soften the blow and assist the partner in getting back on his feet.  His social safety net was gone.  The same was likely true of the third individual.

What can I draw from this?  Well, is it possible, that sometimes our circumstances of life are a result of our bad choices especially when it comes to priorities, marriage and divorce?  I think so.  I am not suggesting that individuals now in these circumstances do not deserve our help -- they still do.  But I am suggesting that more of us need to think about what being married to the wrong person and/or the pursuit of divorce due to our own selfishness can do, both to us and to our children.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of those visiting food banks are single parents?  I would hazard to guess, it's the largest category.

What am I really saying?  Simply this: We must not ignore the impacts of a life outside the will of God for us as individuals, as families, as communities and as a nation if we are to address successfully some of today's social woes.

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