Sidebar: What to Do

Debbie McLeod Sears

1. Admit your ignorance and your desire to become informed, because these are equally valuable. Pray, read your Bible, pray, read some more. I am not good a praying at a set time each day, so I ask God all through the day if i’m thinking, acting, speaking as God would have me. Figure out your own method. Sign up for Sojourner’s Verse of the Day e-mail.

2. Add to your circle of friends. We have found that reading, traveling, and attending conferences regarding poverty have created a whole network for friends who have similar interests to ours. Don’t be surprised if you end up having dinner with rich and poor alike.

3. Learn spanish. If you live in the U.S., knowing Spanish will open you up to people in your town that you may have just ignored.

4. Recognize that how you use the earth’s resources affects the world. Be an example to your children, neighbors, and friends.

5. Read: The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz; Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day by Collins, Morduch, Rutherford and Ruthven; Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf; the Bible, particularly the Gospels and Prophets.

6. Do something. Join a group, rewrite your will so that you give away at least half of your net worth either before or at your death like forty of the 400 U.S. billionaires have done ( Involve your church with NGOs that are nondenominational or nonreligious.

– Debbie McLeod Sears