At its core, the War on Poverty was not about a handout, but a hand up. It was about creating economic opportunity and giving poor people the skills and support they needed to take advantage of it. And it was about giving poor people a voice in decisions affecting their lives. A half-century ago, Americans made a commitment to fight a war on poverty, and we could do it again. Creating a society that is more fair, just, and prosperous for everyone is a fight worth winning.


The irony here is that the people screaming the loudest about Ebola here in the US (they didn’t care, of course, when it was just in Africa) are mostly the same ones who complain the most about the “evil fed’ral guv’mint” and consequently vote to send Republicans to office who make sure we don’t “waste” tax dollars on things like science & medical research.

I personally am not thrilled with a lot of the things my tax dollars go towards (religious groups, the “war on drugs,” militarizing police forces, colonialist wars, bailing out financial criminals, etc), and it’s DOUBLY galling that the IMPORTANT things that our government can, and SHOULD, be doing, like this research (something they’re better suited to than the private sector) are left undone while those other things are funded.


So when people leave, I’ve learned the secret: let them. Because, most of the time, they have to.

Let them walk away and go places. Let them have adventures in the wild without you. Let them travel the world and explore life beyond a horizon that you exist in. And know, deep down, that heroes aren’t qualified by their capacity to stay but by their decision to return.

The Staying Philosophy (Everyday Isa)