That is how many human beings will die from extreme poverty in the next 24 hours. Each one of them could be saved if we would only make the necessary effort. Thousands of children will die before the age of five, women will die in childbirth at a horrific rate and life expectancy will be around 45 years, and none of it has to happen. All of these deaths can be prevented.

Most of us, in our daily lives, would step in and try to prevent an unnecessary death if we knew it was going to occur. If we really believed that a person would die if we did not take immediate action we would take the steps to save them. How then can we turn away so easily and let tens of thousands die each day? If we would be willing to save one why are we not willing to save many? It doesn’t make sense. Human life is precious no matter where it exists on the planet.

Perhaps the fact that we don’t have to look them in the eye as we allow their life to slip away makes it easier for us to ignore them. If the decimated child could actually reach out and touch our hand, if we actually had to watch as the young mother bled to death during delivery, or if we were present when the landmine went off, shredding flesh and destroying limbs, perhaps then we would feel compelled to intercede on the victim’s behalf and do what we could to ease their suffering. But their misery and deaths take place out of our sight. We are aware that it is happening, but we are able to block it out without feeling any guilt.

Premature death is always tragic, but when it occurs needlessly it takes on an extra dimension of sorrow and shame. To die because others refuse to help you is not right. To know someone is going to die and to not do all you can to prevent their death is reprehensible. Having the knowledge before hand that someone is going to lose their life confers a responsibility to you to take action to prevent that from happening. You have an obligation to take matters into your own hands. You have a moral responsibility to do the right thing and try to preserve life. Inaction is the same as aiding in the tragedy.

If you know that your child will die without surgery you will do everything humanly possible to get them that life saving procedure. If you know a loved one will die without their medication you will ensure that they have it. If you know that someone is mentally troubled and could possibly harm themselves or others you would do everything you could to get them the proper medical treatment as soon as possible. The same principle is true when it comes to extreme poverty. You know that thousands of innocent human beings, many of them small children, are going to die tomorrow. What action are you willing to take to try to prevent that from happening?

We all know that it is not right that human beings suffer and die needlessly, but knowing that it’s going to happen, unless we intercede, places a burden on us that we either have to accept or run from. It is up to each one of us to assume responsibility for the life threatening conditions that so many are trapped in. We can’t wait for politicians to take action. We can’t wait for corporations to behave appropriately. We can’t wait for other nations to come to the rescue. It has to be us. Individually we each have to do whatever we can to make life better on this planet.

Knowing in advance that someone is going to die is a very troubling thing. It makes you an unwilling participant in an event you would rather have no knowledge about. Ignorance provides a cover for guilt and shame. If you did not know that someone was dying then you are relieved of any feelings of personal responsibility. You will feel sorrow, sadness, and maybe remorse, but you will not feel outright guilt or blame. However, knowing that someone is dying when you have the power to keep that from happening changes your reaction when the death eventually occurs. You will feel guilt, blame and shame because you know you could have done something to save them and you didn’t.

30,000 human beings die everyday from extreme poverty. That is 210,000 per week, 930,000 each month, 1,000,000 every 34 days and 10,950,000 annually.

You now know what is going to occur over the next 12 months. Almost eleven million people are going to needlessly die if we don’t begin to take immediate action to save them. If you turn away now you are saying that you are willing to ignore their agony and pretend that it isn’t really happening. You are saying that you will think only of yourself. You are saying that innocent children do not deserve the chance to live. You are saying that people are expendable if they happen to live in the wrong part of the world.

Saving the life of another human being is the most important thing you can do. Each day we are presented with that amazing opportunity. It is a wonderful thing to realize that you can begin to change the world right now. You have the power to save human life. You must make the decision to use that power intelligently. You can no longer claim that you did not know how many people die from extreme poverty. Knowledge leads to responsibility.




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