Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A systemic challenge

FROM his experience of the issues, and as a commissioner for Scotland's Poverty Truth Commission, Alastair McIntosh says...

"It is crucial that we understand the roots of what poverty is. First, it is structural, being systemic to the distribution of power, resources and educational opportunities in society.

"Second, it is a form of violence that comes from a deficit of empathy between those who have much and those who have little.

"Third, it is intergenerational, with its life-crippling seeds getting passed on in early childhood.

"And fourth, it is sustained by blindness to the full humanity of one another, showing it to be a pathology of the rich and not just a deficit of the poor.

"These four drivers are so fundamental to the human condition that they require not quick fixes but an evolution in human consciousness and in how we see our national identity. To walk this path we must allow ourselves to be challenged by Truth - the truth of where we and our world stand, the truth of where we know we are called to go, and the many truths of how to bridge that gap.

"Truth is an active power for change. Reconciliation is what brings us back together again in our common humanity. Both spring from the sharing of community. Truth and reconciliation are about seeking that which gives life. Life as love made manifest."

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