Our neighbor to the north, The Salvation Army Canada, has just launched a campaign called The Dignity Project that’s generating some buzz over the border. The initiative is designed to educate the public about the realities of poverty and underscore the point that everyone deserves fundamental human dignity.
In pursuing this project, The Salvation Army Canada asked the public, “How do average Canadians feel about the poor living among them today?” And while respondents ranked poverty as the third most critical issue facing their country, their feedback revealed a lot of people still hold misperceptions about the poor and the challenges they face.
Though the report and findings are tailored to Canada, this is important for Americans to reflect on too. You may not encounter poverty in your everyday life, but as many as 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty today. So ask yourself, have you ever thought, consciously or subconsciously, the following about the poor?
- If poor people really want to work, they can always find a job.
- A good work ethic is all you need to escape poverty.
- I think that if we gave poor people more assistance, they would just take advantage of it and do nothing.
- Poor people usually have lower moral values.
- People are poor because they are lazy.
If so, you should take a look at the full report here.
More information about The Dignity Project, including a blog and a video series, is available at http://dignity.salvationarmy.ca/.
The Salvation Army’s faith motivates its mission to serve and treat everyone with dignity and respect. To learn more about the work we do serving 30 million people in need every year in the United States, visit us at www.salvationarmyusa.org.