Welcome to the World Hunger and Poverty Blog! This site was created by Scott Hughes (me!) and is based on the idea that it is totally unacceptable that any person go hungry or be deprived basic necessities, especially when there is more than enough food to feed everyone and more than enough resources to provide clothes, clean water, shelter, education and healthcare to everyone. Yet millions starve to death every year. I want this blog to act not only as a call to action but as a place to share information and openly exchange ideas about these incredibly important issues. Immediately below on this page you will find the most recent blog posts.


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Psychology of Poverty

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by James Marchese

Philanthropy is a necessity to what is better known as charity. With the internet being such a powerful utility presently, it is important to promote donating to causes that want to make the future of Earth better for all. People often forget the need of philanthropy in every day life, the true philanthropists are the ones starting charitable organizations, donating to them, or helping promote them.

There are many known philanthropists in the gaming industry, some more so than others. Read more to find out some of the less known charitable people in the world of online gaming. It is easy to hear about the big names like Bill Gates of Microsoft, but there are many more that are worth knowing.

Gamingforgood

One example of philanthropy in the gaming industry is Gamingforgood.net, a website that dedicates money to the Save the Children fund. On this website, you earn points by donating money for charity. With those points, you can then in turn purchase games on the website. The site also allows you to start your own charity and ask for donations to earn points. This website offers gamers a chance to help the world by donating money plus the added perk of purchasing the games they enjoy.

Zynga

The developers of popular games like Farmville and Mafia Wars, Zynga is a major contributor to charities and nonprofit organizations. After Japan’s last major earthquake Zynga began selling virtual products at low prices to donate to Save the Children Earthquake Emergency fund. Within two weeks, this developer raised and contributed over 2.5 million dollars.

OneBigGame

Nonprofit ogranization OneBigGame publishes games for well known web game developers. Revenues made from these titles are then in turn donated to OneBigGame’s connected charity and nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping the future of the world. One of its published games, Chime, raised more than 100,000 dollars mostly by donation which was then given to the Save the Children’s Fund.

Child’s Play

There are also organizations of developers and gamers who have come together to make charities. Child’s Play is a world organization of over 100,000 gamers that are dedicated to doing long term philanthropic work. This charity provides games, toys, books, and money to sick children in several countries across the world including Australia, Europe, Egypt, and North America.

Remember the importance of philanthropy as the world moves into the future. Losing this innate want to give will lead to a more rapid deterioration of society. It is time now to recognize the gaming companies that are working towards the betterment of the world. As gaming websites such as Wildstarclasses.com serving as the meeting place of gamers become more popular, it is important to realize their major role in reaching broad demographics of people. There has never been an easier way to reach people than what you would know now as the click of a button, literally.

About the Author

James Marchese is an active participant in charity work. He donates his time to the Norwalk Seaport Aasociation in Connecticut. Also an avid gamer, James spent much of his childhood playing console games and now has moved into the online world of gaming.

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The Most Important Thing to Me

This is my everything. I don’t believe in any gods; I don’t believe in morals or justice or souls or heaven or superstition; I don’t believe in nobility or democracy or the value of manmade laws. But I believe in them. Everything I do, I do for them. Every pushup. Every joke to a customer at work. Every friend I try to make even if only to keep my sanity. Every rally. Even when I brush my teeth in the morning. I want to do great things. I might fail, but I’d rather my kids see me crash and burn aiming for the moon, rather than make it to the fence, knowing their father was a man who chased his dreams and didn’t live his life as a coward or a slave to the common way or common fear. I want my kids to be proud of me, from the deepest pits of their natural humanity, to know their father was a man who woke up every morning in this crazy world and took it on with the strength of love. This is my everything, my kids.

How could my kids hold me up with the truest pride if they saw me walk callously past a homeless family on the street? If they saw me cruelly unconcerned with the thousands of other children who starve to death every day? If I showed no huge sympathy for the millions of Americans suffering so terribly in prison mostly for consensual crimes like marijuana or prostitution? If they saw hate for some in their father’s eyes or actions rather than love for all?

Even at 4 years old and under, my kids don’t want to see people crying. They don’t want to see people hurt each other, and so needlessly at that. They don’t want to see people suffer. They don’t need to be taught that. You don’t learn compassion by growing up. My little kids have big hearts.

There’s so much darkness in this world. We’re born with such love and compassion and life, but are battered into jealousy and anger, hate and loneliness, fear and desperation, deception and cutthroat plotting. Children’s attachment to their parent is the most fundamental way they learn, to become the person they will be. Abused children spend their lifetime confused, born with this natural goodness and kindness that contradicts with their natural admiration for their mean parent. We rightfully identify the few worst, the child molesters and whatnot, but fail to see how all the darkness in the world comes from this same pattern, passed from parent to child, caretaker to young heart. If I taught my children hate for even one man or to disregard the pain of any person, when my children can’t help but admire me as a role model and try to synthesize that with their huge hearts bursting with love and compassion, what terrible life sentence I’d be giving them! I’m not perfect, but I want to be their light.

And hey I probably won’t save the world, but if I do right by my kids well enough–if I’m the inspiration I want to be–maybe they will.

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Sacrifice

25 April 2014

The basic idea of charity entails sacrifice. More specifically, it is the opposite of selfish. It is sacrificing some of one’s own interests for someone else’s benefit.

We humans also sacrifice in non-charitable ways too. When we workout at the gym and diet, for example, we sacrifice some of our short-term interests like enjoying the comfort of sitting on the couch and the pleasure of tasting cake and soda for alternative, more sophisticated goals. Of course that is just one example of countless.

In comparison to when we do work at the gym and pay money to the gym, charity is when we do work or spend money or accept discomfort for the sake of other people, namely those in need. To say we do it for other people’s sake doesn’t mean we don’t also have a self-serving reason to do it too. Just like when we invest in exercise for a future return, when we do the sacrifice of charity we get something in return, something deep and rewarding in us. This comes from love. We are loving people, and this makes us inherently charitable. We have an inherent tendency towards sacrificing for other people by doing hard, hard work the same way one might work hard in the gym or work hard going to school to get something they more deeply want for themselves.

I believe love is measured by if not defined by sacrifice. What is the epitome of love if not maybe a mother throwing herself in front of a bus to push her child out of the way. The ultimate sacrifice. The ultimate act of love.

That’s a special love and easy to imagine.

But (with the exception of a few literal psychopaths) we all have love and empathy for each other, for everyone. We love and sympathize and feel bad for all those thousands of children who starve to death every day. And for the starving adults. And the people who suffer in poverty. And those suffering and dying from treatable diseases and preventable diseases. And those with AIDS or cancer. And those suffering in inhumane prisons or dying in needless oil wars.

We each have a deep urge to help these suffering people, to save the lives of these children. It pains us to see or think of their suffering little faces.

Even if the complicated politics make it not as simple as handing over some food or money to save them, when it comes to this urge, this love, like the mom throwing herself in front of a bus, we still have such an incredibly strong urge that we would do that hard more elaborate work that needs to be done. We’d be a full-blown activist. We’d be Mother Theresa. We’d throw ourselves in front of a bus.

But we don’t.

Maybe we give a dollar to the charity when asked at the supermarket or make some other small change in our life, knowing the relatively small gesture doesn’t match our great love and sympathy for these suffering people, knowing it is little of what we really want to sacrifice.

But we don’t do more.

Why?

Well let’s go back to that repeatedly used gym example. How many of us really are that great about working out and dieting?! Starving kids is a problem but so is the obesity epidemic. Even when we take charity out of the equation, we can see we have some sort of problem with sacrifice at all. We don’t even act on our self-love appropriately. We’re not even selfish. We’re more like addicts. Working out and dieting is just an example. If that’s not your thing, then it’s watching too much TV, or drinking, or being a shopaholic constantly disappointed at yourself for breaking your budget that you set for yourself, or not keeping your house clean, or being a rageaholic, or sleeping with too many strangers and being bummed about it, or being bummed at yourself for being a homebody. People aren’t happy with themselves.

And they have themselves to blame. But they are caught in this lonely, self-deprecating cycle like a textbook addict. Finding their pleasures in short-sighted indulgences, feeling bad at themselves for not meeting their long-term goals and sticking to their own plans by abstaining from such indulgences, and then filling that sad self-disappointment and loneliness with more self-destructive indulgence. We can’t help starving children because we can’t help ourselves.

A lot of so-called middle-class people can barely make it off the couch to do the dishes.

A lot of people can’t stop killing themselves with Big Macs or drinking or cigarettes or whatever their vice is. How could we expect them to save anyone else’s life?

And this kind of self-destructive pattern destroys intimacy and relationships. People have friends officially and official girlfriends or official boyfriends or wives or husbands and families and friendly coworkers; but they still feel alone, and scared. They can’t love these people right because they can’t love themselves right. They still have this hole in their heart.

So it all comes back to love and sacrifice.

I really believe that the main key in actually dealing with issues like child starvation, severe poverty and the spread of diseases isn’t formulating the perfect complicated economic plan or jiggling things at the capital just right. The key is love.

It might sound cliché, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s the truth.

If we can’t get in touch with that, then we might as well just eat or drink or smoke ourselves to death and give up these dreams of saving starving children.

So you who are reading this… I probably don’t know you or maybe I do. But I promise you I love you. I don’t have all the answers. And I am very far from perfect. But we are all struggling, and I want you to know we are in this together and I love you.


If you enjoyed the above post–or hated it–please let me know by leaving a comment below with your feedback. Also, if you did enjoy it, please rest your eyes for a second and then after the break also read my last major post on this site of a similar style Unhappy and Unsatisfied, and leave a comment there too.

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More Deaths than Tobacco

A study from the British Medical Journal found that income inequality leads to 883,914 unnecessary deaths in the United States each year.

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Children suffering from Poverty