Blog Post #2 Poverty/Social Justice

To start off this blog I absolutely have to discuss the Parable of the Sadhu. In my first time reading I missed some key concepts because I was so heavily focused on finding things to discuss in class but after the class discussion I found myself re-reading and asking myself these deep questions. Before I answer them myself I had a question that could possibly be nothing or could maybe be important in my decisions.

I do not know much of the religious beliefs of Quakers. I know the basics like that Quakers believe in simplicity and living off the earth. I completely understand there is far more to this religion than just that but I do wonder if Stephen who is said to be Quaker, understood the severity of the situation on a more ethically damaging level than the others who continued on in the hike due to his religious background? If so, what does this say about business?

In simply an opinion, I think this reflects on business in the sense that it can show the challenges of a manager and those above in the line of command. The manager making the tough call on limited facts and time struggles even greater with their personal ethics or beliefs. Even greater pressure is added with the business has their own idea of ethics and what the company wants may not be ethical or moral in your eyes.

Now onto the juicer question…. “Where in your opinion is the limit of our responsibility in a situation?”

As much as I would like to say I would help the Sadhu, I think I would have acted the same and done what I could (to an extent) and continued on with the hike. I think of it the same as giving money to an individual while you’re sitting at a red light. There is always more your could do. Giving  the person money is doing what you can (to an extent) since you could take that person home and let them sleep on your couch. You could help them get a job and so on. There will always be more you could do but no one is blaming or shaming anyone for this because we all would. I strongly doubt the percentage of individuals who would completely abandon the hike to help this man is any greater than those who would not.

One small note that I felt was relevant in the decision making was that the Sadhu was alive, awake, conscious and able bodied enough to throw rocks at the dog. I believe that strongly played a role in many individuals decisions.

 

Next mentioning poverty is the article on the shifting nature of poverty in the Richmond Region. To begin, I was just recently in Richmond for the first time in a very long time. Usually I had always been with my family meaning I was comfortably asleep in the back seat until we arrive at whatever softball tournament we were going to. But this time was different. I was driving myself and my brothers girlfriend. So two new things that day, we hadn’t spent more than 5 minutes alone with each other before. But focusing more on the Richmond experience…I feel bad to say I was scared. We had to drive through an ungodly crowded area with a heavy homeless presence. I always try to give more to those in need and I keep food and blankets and washcloths and soap in my car for these moments but this was different. It wasn’t the usual nice gentleman I see regularly. One man even came to my window and proceeded to knock on the window yelling at me for money. It struck me odd that this gentleman also had an american flag wrapped around his neck like a scarf. It was startling.

One sentence that struck home with me was “poverty is actually an inner-city problem, and that is not an inaccurate statement, but it’s not a sufficient statement.” I am from a little area south of fredericksburg called Partlow.  Patlow VA is very rural and as wonderfully peaceful as it is, it tends to have lower income families living out there. We have no shame in it and we live off the land to an extent as well. I was raised with a cow named Rib-eye and I learned how to garden and grow food from a young age too. Now were different from the Quakers in many ways because we not only live off the land but we have a good ol country time doing so with turkey shoots and so on. When people think of the homeless they commonly think of the individuals sleeping at bus stations in the city which is completely normal to think of but when I think of homeless individuals I think of the random items my hound would bring back to me from a campsite someone might have made in the woods on our property or finding someone trying to sleep in the hunting lodge. I know and understand the common thought of the inner city poverty being the only poverty because it is so heavily portrayed in media but I wish more would think of those still doing it all by the land.

The last thing that strongly stuck out to me was “our economy has shifted in ways that our population has not, and we’ve got to find ways to create opportunities for people who may not fit into the information age as neatly as other”. This may not be exactly what the author is saying but an example I believe that represents this is the raising on the minimum wage. As nice as it sounds raising the wages will just raised the cost of living and everyone will be right back where they were fighting so hard to get out of. Before things like this are done people need to step back and realize what they’re asking for.

Categories Leadership & Social Justice

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