You know how you just go about your life…and it all seems normal to you? Then someone starts to point out things and you realize that your normal is not everyone else’s normal??
This has been happening to me lately.
Increasing attention is being focused on wealth inequality. Most recently, Dave Ramsey’s interview with Tom Corley discussed the differences between the habits of rich and poor people. Wealth is most definitely not the answer to all the world’s problems, but their conversation got me to thinking about my life.
I would not consider myself wealthy, but then….
1. I don’t have to boil water (unless I plan to put pasta or a teabag in it).
I turn on the faucet and get what I need. According to Charity:Water, 800 million people on our planet do not have access to clean water.
3. My teenage daughter is in high school.
First, the fact that she grew to be a teenager is a gift compared to the many girls who never make it out of the womb or who die before reaching five years of age. According to the UN, 18,000 children die every day. Second, we did not marry her off nor did we have to sell her into human trafficking in order to have money to feed the rest of the family. Third, she’s a girl and in school. Period. This luxury alone is not available to the majority of young girls globally.
4. I enjoy evening walks in my neighborhood.
My community is safe. I never have feared a violent attack or an encounter with corrupt officials. According to IJM’s Gary Haugen, violence toward the poor destroys all efforts for development and sustainability in communities worldwide. Check out the preview for his upcoming book, The Locust Effect.
5. My husband is at work and will be home this evening.
Being married for 28 years to an AIDS-free, non-alcoholic, full-time employed man is a blessing many women worldwide do not enjoy. And, his ability to come home each night is a gift. He did not have to emigrate to another country to find employment in order to support our family.
6. I open my windows to enjoy a gentle breeze and an unobstructed view of my flower gardens.
First, I have a home. Second, I am wealthy enough to have glass-paned windows and screens. Third, I do not need security bars over my windows. Fourth, I have enough disposable income to pay for flowers, shrubbery and the water to sustain them.
7. Yesterday I threw away several containers of food leftovers from the refrigerator.
First of all, it’s great that I even have a refrigerator! I can store food and keep it fresh. Second, my actions show that I eat well. As a matter of fact, I have so much to eat that I sometimes forget about the leftover food. Fuzzy, technicolor things grow on my leftovers and I have to throw them out.
8. I enjoyed amazing worship this past Sunday.
Carefree, my family and I arrived at our church building. Not once did it cross our minds that our building could be raided by local authorities or violent persecutors. We are blessed to have a safe, comfortable home base from which to serve the Lord and to send people.
9. My son plays college baseball.
First, he was prepared and able to excel academically in high school and is doing well in college classes. He was and is now able to give many hours to a game. He is not required to work to help support our family. We were able to afford travel leagues, tournaments, and equipment. Furthermore, he has the energy and is healthy enough to run and to play sports. Most children in the developing world do not have enough caloric intake to allow for proper growth much less the “extra” energy needed to contribute to a sport at an NCAA competitive level.
10. I get yearly medical physicals (and visit the dentist 2x year and see my optometrist yearly).
Not an option for the vast majority of people around the world. According to Professor Paul Farmer and Professor Michael Porter of Harvard, the inability to deliver efficient and effective care to the people of developing nations is the greatest global health crisis we face.
Furthermore … out of my gifts and my abundance I am called to care for others. Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) to illustrate how we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. “Go and do likewise.”
What can you add to this list of 10? Are you rich, too?