Each of us has his burden to carry, his own bundle of woes to endure through his life. One of the benefits of travel is that we are reminded that there are always those worse off, materially, than ourselves. Following is a selection of images, focusing on poverty, that I have collected over the years. I’ll start with a family in China, which faced their dire circumstances admirably:
They owned one book, The Sayings of Confucius, and little else. They refused any donations.
The last Jews of Medzibuzh, Ukraine. They were not born in Medzibuzh but had arrived after the war. My paternal grandfather was born in Medzibuzh. This couple expected donations from visitors and they were not nearly as poor as the Chinese family above, but their house would be considered a hovel by Western standards. Actually there are still many Jews in Medzibuzh, but they are in the cemeteries:
Here are members of the family outside their home. Basically, I wandered the streets, dressed in a galabiyah – but obviously a tourist because of my camera – and accepted invitations for tea. Of course I gave them a donation.
Poverty is the norm in most of the world. Affluence, such as most of us have in America, is the exception. We would do well to serve as a model for the rest of the world, not a mecca.