Culture

Channel Your Righteous Rage: A Real-Life Enemy List For When the Game Is Over

A photograph of the author, Austin Bailey.

By Austin Bailey

March 22, 2019

Channel Your Righteous Rage: A Real-Life Enemy List For When the Game Is Over

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Hope and optimism are all well and good, but sometimes vengeance and righteous anger are the fuels we need to get a job done. Perhaps we should take a cue from a certain heroine of Westeros, whose meditative recitations of her enemy list soothe her overstimulated nerves and encourage her forward on her murderous path. Just imagine what we could accomplish if we all channeled our collective rage for good!

So let’s try this: every night before bed, let’s list off these obstacles to ending hunger and poverty and renew our pledge to tackle them.

 

Gender Inequity

An issue that’s fueling social and economic tensions from rural Senegal to the Silicon Valley, gender inequity puts roadblocks in front of women and girls. Baby girls in India start out behind the eight ball, experiencing far higher rates of infant and child mortality than boys. And females around the world go on to face a lifetime of obstacles to equity in education, earning potential and representation in government, It’s holding all of us back. When women have a fair say in running their households and earning income, entire families and communities benefit.

Climate Change

Wildfires, erratic weather, flooding and drought affect everyone, but the poor bear more than their share. Agriculture, the only livelihood available for many of the world’s poor, is the industry affected most by rising temperatures and changes in precipitation. And rising temperatures increase health risks like malaria and diarrhea, which already hit poor countries hardest.

Lack of Education

Everyone knows the key to escaping poverty is education. But getting an education is nearly impossible for children in many poor countries. Some don’t have transportation or money they need to get to school, some have to do their best with untrained teachers or untenable facilities.

Racism

Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately plagued by poverty, and the lack of resources and opportunities that poverty brings can plague families for generations. Laws prohibiting discrimination help, but wholesale societal changes are what we need. And that’s a tough one.

Thinking of people as individuals rather than members of a group and increasing social interactions among diverse groups can help us begin to erase racial biases that we might not even be aware that we have.

Neglected Tropical Diseases

Barely a blip on our radar in the developed world, neglected tropical diseases are debilitating to roughly 1.4 billion people in the world’s poorest countries. The shame is that all of these conditions are treatable for a relatively low price. Diseases falling under this umbrella include leprosy, dengue fever, Chagas disease, guinea worm and other conditions that spread in places without clean water and good sanitation. The good news is that we could wipe them out and clear the way for people to live healthy, productive lives.