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I Am So Rich!

March 21, 2022

This morning I got out of my warm and comfortable bed, went to the bathroom where I have running warm water. I have an indoor flushing toilet and TP. I went to the coffee maker to have a warm cup of coffee with milk (because I have a fridge to keep things cool and electricity to power it). I sat in my chair, read my Bible, journaled and prayed. After breakfast my husband and I drove our car to church and worshiped with millions of other people across the country. We had lunch, took a Sunday afternoon nap, did some online shopping and spent the rest of the afternoon reading, planning the week and writing some personal notes. I emailed my family in Germany and Hong Kong, did a load of laundry and planned the meals for the week. We are starting to receive voter information for the upcoming election that I am looking through.

Yes, I know, you probably did similar things, but did you know that you and I are a small percentage of the world that gets to do this?

We have beds - many people sleep on dirt or straw, even in our own country some sleep on cardboard boxes. We have inside bathrooms and running water - many people in this world can’t even fathom what that would look like. They might need to walk for hours to have access to water and even then it is probably contaminated. We have food in our home, even our poorest families in Merced have more food than most people across the globe. The food the US throws away on a daily basis could feed another country. We drove in a car the 2 miles to church, while others will spend hours walking to church, with no protection from the heat or cold.
We have the freedom to worship the god of our choosing in this country (it can be Jesus Christ, or a tree, it can be Allah or an Indian god), we get to choose and live into that faith. Many people in this world do not have the freedom. Even as I was sitting in church other people were being killed for their faith.
I communicated with family in other countries and did not think twice about it, while others have never left their own community or town.
I have the privilege of planning out our meals for the week, because my cupboards are filled with food. Many people in this world don’t know where their next meal is coming from. I threw my dirty laundry into a metal box, added detergent and let the machine do the rest. Many of our world’s women have to walk to a river to hand wash the 2 or 3 sets of clothing they might own.
I sit here in our living room with no fear of being robbed, or bombed, or kidnapped. I don’t have bars on the windows to keep me safe or guns to protect the family. We still have the freedom to vote and don’t get shot for stepping out.

We complain in America on the price of gas, the rising expenses of rent, the increase in food cost, the broken political systems, but in comparison to most of the world we are so rich! I am the richest person my friends overseas have ever met. Even the poorest person in Merced is still richer than over 90% of the world population.

As we are going into this next season, let’s remember that our ‘poverty’ is nothing in comparison to the rest of the world. The US makes up 5% of the global population but holds about 32% of all the wealth of the world.

I am rich, and I want to use my wealth to help others, to make our world a better place. I start in my own neighborhoods that are often neglected, but then want to work outwards to engage the wider world of justice.

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