- Two-thirds have at least one DVD player and 70 percent have a VCR
- Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers
- More than half of poor families with children have a video game system.
- 43% have Internet access
- One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD television
- Approximately 20% of people live on less than $1 a day.
- About half of the world, more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day.
- At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
- 2 billion people, a quarter of humanity, live without electricity.
- An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.
- 20% of children between 5 and 14 years of age are involved in child labor.
- One-sixth of the global population lacks access to safe drinking water.
- Women in poor areas of Asia and Africa walk an average of 4 miles a day to collect water.
"Reality can be ugly, bloody, and horrible." Most of us have lives with luxuries unimaginable to the rest of world. We may not be in the top 1% of wage earners worldwide, but we certainly aren't in the bottom 80% either. I like this guy's plan of making people live in the woods for three days to give them a taste of what corporations do for them, but I'd take it farther. I'd like all the disillusioned young adults of the West to go spend a week or two in a developing nation. It doesn't even have to be a war-torn or famine-stricken one. Just pick any ol' place where people toil long hours to feed their families, and then take pride in sweeping their dirt floors. Watch precious children covered in filth playing with ingenious toys they've constructed out of garbage. Experience them trying to feed you their best, out of hospitality, even though they have so little. And then see that despite the abysmal circumstances they live in, many of them are still happy and joyful. Yes, go visit "the rest" and then come back to your home, your food, and your bills and complain. I dare you. And then I dare you to look at all you have and not give thanks to the Lord who has blessed you so abundantly, and who allows you to live in a nation with the luxury of "protesting" whatever it is you are upset about.
But I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised at the lack of perspective in so many. As we learned in Remember the Titans, "Attitude reflects leadership, Captain." And the leadership of our nation does not acknowledge God's hand in the blessings of our nation, nor the importance of thanking the Lord even one day a year. Below is the text from President Obama's Thanksgiving Day address. Take a minute to read it and note the conspicuous absence of God in his remarks.
Obama's Thanksgiving Speech 2011
by the President of the United States of America
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
President Lincoln seemed to have a firm understanding that what we have are "the gracious gifts of the Most High God," and understood that the Lord deserves our praise and thanks. (I also like that he specifically includes Americans "at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands" as part of the Thanksgiving observance!) So let us be ever aware of the extent of our blessing and remember the Source from which they come. May we live with an attitude of gratefulness, even if it is simply for the gift of life, as we are not promised tomorrow.
give thanks in ALL circumstances;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
(I'm not sure how accurate or up to date it is, but it's kind of interesting to calculate how rich you are here.)