Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So Incredibly Fortunate

An 87 year old on oxygen who volunteers to walk a mile to cash her check because she can't afford a cab. Half of the world lives on $2.50 or less a day, 80% on $10 or less a day. I have already made that much money in 2010 working seasonal jobs that do not require much education. How fortunate am I?

I often take what I have for granted. I buy another $80 pair of running shoes, another $45 tank of gas, another $4 mocha latte all without really considering if there is a way to get around it. How often do I actually consider how to save my pennies? Frequently now, but it was somewhat rare until 2010 and my subsequent unemployment came along.

How many things do I do, frequently, that is just not possible in other parts of the world? I run, which is very accessible, but it can be hazardous to your health in some places and many places after dark. I go to church without being taken to a prison camp and killed. There has not been any civil war in the US recently. We live in a country that allowed me to get an excellent education. In many places that would not be an option. We live in a country with paved roads so people can travel more than a thousand miles a day in a car. We live in a place where fuel for our cars is, to use an expression, dirt cheap.

I live in a time and a place where epidemics of AIDS, cholera, malnutrition, polio, influenza, bubonic plague, lead poisoning, and starvation are not issues for me. My family could survive for weeks on the food in our house. Fresh potable water is just not an issue in this country. There are potable water spickets run by solar power and windmills in some very remote places.

There are so many gifts and advantages that I have enjoyed that I feel guilty sometimes. I sincerely hope that I will be able to contribute to others what has been given to me.

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