Kony…what does that mean to the poor?

Yes, everyone is talking about Joseph Kony. The world again stands horrified at injustice, cruelty and ignorance. So, the video went viral, news bulletins picked up on it, people posted and reposted about it… the power of social media came to the fore as never seen previously.

I did my shopping – another $98 gone. Last night I watched the doco on Joseph Kony, leader of the “Lord’s Resistance Army” in Uganda. As a person of action, I also paid up $48 to get the Kony kit that will advertise the cause – posters, car sticker, T-shirt, etc. So, its only the 9th March and I have spent half my money already. Today I must get petrol, tomorrow is a friend’s birthday – so more money. I really am not sure I will make it to the end of the month.

Again I became aware of the stress that dominates the poor when faced with simple decisions. Yesterday I bought iron tablets – there were 30 for $9.95 or 80 for $24.95. It made sense to get the 80 but added $15 to the budget expenses. For myself, I could think “ah well, I have the money”, but what if you are really restricted to that amount of money and can’t just blow the budget? Well, you end up paying more over time, keeping you in poverty. See, I saved something like 9c a tablet by buying 80. That extra 9c I saved is available to me to spend elsewhere over time. Now, if I had to pay the extra 9c then I’d have less money for other things. And its the same with lots of expenses: rates, insurances, even grocery items that are “buy 2 get 1 free”. So, those that have the money can continue to save, but those that do not are hard-pressed on every side. It seems that it is just not possible to get ahead??? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer…

It was worth blowing the budget on the Kony gear for me, because I am the 1%, I have the privilege of having money to spend on such novelties as the Kony kit. If it brings evil to its knees and justice to the children of Uganda, it was worth blowing the budget for. However, I will not starve to achieve it, the poor just might.

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