Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Impoverished Luxury

If you are like me when you heard the rumors that the price of gas was going to escalate, you hurried and filled up your vehicle. If you are like me you rejoiced when you saw you filled up just in time, only to remember that you would be back at the pump before the weeks end. If you are like me you whine and complain about the price of gas and wonder why it is we have to pay such outrages prices.
If you are like me perhaps you have lamented the fact that prices at the grocery have risen, health benefits have decreased, and taxes inevitably are going to increase.
If you are also like me, perhaps you have caught yourself worrying too much over very little. If you are like me you remember that you ought not to fret because you are rich and can weather the storm. Did I lose you yet?
It is true though; you who are reading this are most likely rich because you have access to the Internet. You who are reading this are rich if you have a car to buy gas for, insurance to pay premiums on, or water coming from pipes in your house.
After careful thought I have come to realize that richness has to do with choices. If you wake up in the morning with choices, you are rich. If you have a choice what to eat for breakfast, you are rich. If you have a choice in how to get to work (car, bus, taxi, bike) you are rich. If you have a choice to what you are doing Friday nights, you are rich.
Poverty takes away choices, and leaves only ultimatums. There are millions and millions who are left with nothing more than ultimatums. Work 16 hours a day 7 days a week or go without any resources. Walk three miles every day just to get semi-clean water, or die of thirst. Marry your daughter off at 15 to a man you do not know, or keep another mouth you cannot feed at home. These are not choices, these are ultimatums, and this is true poverty.
There is no true moral point to this observation. I guess I only want you to become aware of two things
1. I hope you are aware at your endless choices that you are presented with each day, and the amount of unbelievable wealth you have.
2. I hope you are aware of true poverty. I hope you understand true poverty not only takes away lives, it takes away freedom.
So, the only thing we are left with is a question. What do we do with our wealth in the face of poverty? If we who can only fill up our gas tank half way have so much more than those who are not even sure what a Ford is, what do we do? I am sure you have heard the saying “the answer is in our own hands,” the truth is however; that the answer is in our own pocket books, but we are just too stingy to open it up.

The answer to poverty cannot wait to be answered by the millionaires of the world, but the answer to poverty, is you, the middle class, and even the lower class. The answer is in giving, by all to all. So, I hope you are not afraid to admit your wealth, I hope that you are not afraid to reach out to the truly impoverished. I hope you not only know what poverty is, but I hope you see, smell it, and taste it. I hope you put yourself right in the middle of it and be the small piece of change brought on by the great love of our God the creator and put an end to a very solvable problem.

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