The other day, a middle aged woman was approached with some food. She took it. When asked if she had kids, she said yes, so they gave her a couple more containers. Her face lit up with a smile. I’m thinking to myself, how poor do you have to be to feed your kids food from complete strangers?
I’m aware that there are people out there who talk about the root causes of poverty. That’s noble and everything, but in the meantime, there are people *right this minute* who are hungry. Ever so practical, and always giving advice that isn’t limited to a select few, the Prophet peace be upon him repeated over and over: feed food. Two words. It’s something everyone can do. And people can benefit from it right now.
Not to discourage people who are looking at the root causes of poverty, but there are two things that make me just say, we have to just look at the here and now because this thing is a mess. There’s no legislation or movement that’s going to reverse these two things:
The first was the bail out of 2008. What was it? 700 Billion dollars? What does that number even mean? It means that at the highest levels, it’s not just rotten, it’s rancid. So when this is the state of the root of the root of the root of wealth distribution, then we’re in long term trouble. No movement is going to flip that.
That was in the past. The second thing is in the present and near future. AI, artificial intelligence, is going to unemploy so many people it’s scary. New technology used to take a generation to phase out the dinosaurs. Now it’ll take a month.
All these things tell me that the future has a truck load of empty stomachs in store. I stopped looking into legislation and programs. Too abstract, too slow and ultimately no gauranteed results. Most importantly, it does nothing for those hungry right now, this minute. The idea of finding some efficient long term solution is out the window, at least to me. It’s all talk.
If you happen to live near an urban area, the task is simple. Each week, feed people. Hand to hand. Make food, pit it in a container, and deliver it. Cook, package, give. Even easier, go to the downtrodden areas where people are buying their meals and cover the tab. There are parts of town where if someone is simply there, you know they’re poor. The person doesn’t have to be homeless dying to receive food. By virtue of simply being in that area you know they’re poor. Miskeen in the Quran means the person has, but never enough.
For those who don’t live near an inner city, I actually feel bad for you. There’s no outlet for direct sadaqa. You might have to drive a little bit to do it. It’s worth it. In this life, the receiver thanks the giver. In the next life, it is the givers who will thank the receivers when they see the weight of the sadaqa on their scales.