Thursday, January 19, 2006

What is deprivation?

We had a brilliant weekend – pictures will follow when we can get organised.

I am finding it hard to make time to do my Blog as this is another very hectic week on the road with workshops; talks and lots of work to do. Never mind – I have to work to eat and it pays the bills :-)

Moving on to a really serious topic that has got me thinking hard about deprivation.

I was watching BBC News last night and saw dreadful images of the suffering in Pakistan following the earthquake; pictures of people struggling to survive another day in their temporary tents in freezing cold weather and snow. As these people try to recover from a natural disaster their main priority is to try to stay alive. Thousands of homes have simply gone. That is real deprivation.

My mind then wandered to the many projects I have been involved in during my career addressing what we in the UK call deprivation. Our projects are about families who are struggling in poor accommodation - often overcrowded; people who are homeless; single parent families; people who are unemployed; people in poverty.

Then I thought about those people in Pakistan again.

I conclude that deprivation is a relative state to the picture in your local community, the national picture in your country or the wider world.

When I see images like I saw last night on TV I can't help feeling slightly guilty when I have a little moan - like we all do - about how it would be good to have more of something.

I think it is good that modern media allows us to see images of real suffering in situations like the aftermath of the earthquake in Pakistan. This enables us to reflect – hopefully - about how relatively fortunate we are in the UK .

I hope we can all say a prayer for those poor people whose homes have gone as they face another day, wondering if it will be their last.

I know we are constantly being asked to contribute financially to various good causes but last night on the BBC most of the experts trying to offer help in Pakistan seemed to be saying the best thing we can do is donate some money to help.

Donating money and praying are ways we can contribute in a practical way. We can all do one of those two things.


Rocky said...

Good article Trevor. I think I am like most people, caught up in our daily struggles and blind to what it really means to struggle. Thanks for a very sobering article.

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts. I'm currently working in Mexico, and I am constantly struck by the economic hardships people face here every day. This is a hard environment to begin with, with a hard history piled on top, and a lot of "questionable" gov'ts in the past (only in the past, I hope). It makes me think more about how good (and lucky) we have it back home. Mexico isn't exactly a "developing" nation, either. People here are wealthy compared to many places. Makes you think, is about all I can say.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Mike and Rocky - if it makes us think then that is good.