So I’ve been struggling lately to write anything worth reading (I hope this post will be an exception!). It’ s not that there isn’t anything to write about–there’s the horrible tragedy unfolding in Haiti and the long road to recovery (for more on the ELCA’s response and how you can help, click here; a blog chronicling the ELCA’s response will be up and running soon here). There was the very interesting piece by Nick Kristof on women and development and how religion can help or hinder efforts. I just spent a week in Tijuana, Mexico, thinking about issues that confront women and children, with a dash of reflection on U.S. immigration policy. Massachusetts recently held an election that significantly shifted the balance of power in Washington–in addition to potentially changing the contours of health care reform, the election also will likely impact climate change legislation, immigration policy, and economic reform.
So why the difficulty writing and reflecting on any one of these significant events and ideas? I think it lies in the complexity of it all. I like to offer pat answers and provide simple ways forward (like, for example, just give to support relief efforts in Haiti–not a bad idea). But the realities of hunger and poverty are much more complex than that. Hunger and poverty won’t go away with one simple step. The way forward (hold on while I simplify it!) is a sustained effort that addresses the multiple causes of poverty (such as racism, sexism, war, corruption, and so on) through multiple channels (such as business, politics, and personal choices). In that vein, I commend to you (if you’ve not yet seen them) the recent series of posts on this blog by Nancy Michaelis who writes about it with much more ease and eloquence. The good news is that my colleagues at ELCA World Hunger and our partners in the field get it, even if I struggle from time to time to write about it.