Today is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Dignity in practice for all!
On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty most of us may think about all people living in poverty in far away countries. And we are right, because these people do need our attention – and more than our attention alone.
The Wyrd Thing Podcast likes to acknowledge all people living in poverty in our own countries as well. Maybe you know somebody living with a social benefit allowance, a disability allowance, or any other form of allowance. Or perhaps you know people who do have a job, but are earning too little money to make ends meet. Some of these so-called ‘working poor’ even have two jobs, and barely manage to survive, due to lousy payment and high living costs. More people are living in poverty than most of us know – or would care to admit.
Living in poverty is a day job. All day one is busy counting how to live the most efficient with the little money one has. What bill to pay today, and what bill will have to wait another month? In which supermarket is what food cheapest this week, and how to make a healthy meal with it? Where are clothes in sale, and can I afford the clothes I need this month? Do I really need to turn on the heat, or will another sweater do? Etcetera.
Living with too little money is not only exhausting; it also is humiliating. Even the simple pleasures of modern life often aren’t possible. Having even one drink in a pub is too expensive, because this means less food to buy. Going by bus costs money, so I rather bike for half an hour or longer. Necessary medications? No thanks, I’ll do without them, because they simply are too expensive.
What can we as heathen communities do? Please, listen to our Episode 17 in which hosts Frigga and Jochem talk with special guest Devon. All three of them live in poverty due to health related reasons, and they eloquently explain what they would need to be able to participate in a heathen community. As we often agree on in our episodes: it’s mostly the little things that have the most impact! For example, being seen and being acknowledged makes a huge difference already.
In our heathen communities many people cannot join in-person gatherings and workshops, due to lack of money. For the same reason they cannot afford to buy tools or art for their altars. Please know we see you! You too are part of our communities. We would like to offer you some top tips for easy and powerful possibilities, with the same impact as expensive trainings or fancy tools.
Heathen communities can do simple things to include people who have little money as well. For example, organisations could offer a membership fee in three tiers, according to income. Or ask for a fee on a sliding scale for trainings or gatherings. If you do so, please make sure you mention this on your website or invitation. This is an essential part of being accessible for all heathens!