Hmm dated February 19,2008
Ok, now that I posted about my children, that I have been blessed with, I post some thoughts for all of us to ponder.
I post quite a bit about living on less and making do, all as a result of an accident. But I often neglect to mention some pretty amazing statistics and must NEVER FORGET that I have such an easy life.
So here goes...
~ 1.3 billion people worldwide live on less than $1.00 per day
~3 billion people worldwide live on less than $2.00 per day
~1.3 billion people do not have access to clean water
~3 billion people have no access to sanitation
~2 billion people have no access to electricity
~30,000 children worldwide die from poverty related issues...EVERYDAY
210,000 die every week, and that is a total of 10 million children a year if you are counting.
~Americans spend 110 billion dollars a year on FAST FOOD
~ Americans spend 39 billion dollars a year on their PETS
Think about this readers...please. We are so involved with so many minor details in life. Me too. What should I do about this? What shall I make for dinner? For lunch? For Breakfast? My pantry looks low, I better fill it up...
CAN ANY OF US REALLY GRASP THE IDEA THAT ONE OF OUR CHILDREN DIED OF STARVATION???
Thank God that the answer to this is no.
As you leave this post think of your children, think of yourself, and then think of the mothers who watched a child starve to death. What do you propose we, one of the most consuming societies on the planet suggest should be done?
Be honest and sincere. No need to tell me, I just had to post this, as I personally, since I was 18, have never made less than $800.00 per month(part time while in college).
Update: Well I am in from cutting out 3 Mesquite bushes, and realized I should add in a few thoughts. Long winded...I apologize up front.
1) Like Susan suggested sending money to places usually is NOT the solution, as we have seen time and time again, relief organizations end up top heavy and funnel well intended monies to themselves as salary(nearly every hurricane season we see this) or like in *third world* countries, the leadership and or military use the foods or money as collateral or to sell for the weapons or luxuries they so choose, thereby leaving the citizens still hungry. The UN has many times shown us that they allow this situation to happen. In fact I have seen footage that was filmed where the military used UN vehicles to take the relief off away from the people. But mind you I am not only pointing at the UN, as the vouchers given for Katrina victims ended up going to people who never even lived in New Orleans. The abuse and or wasted monies ten years ago was a standard 10%, but now we are watching nearly 20% be abused outright, and in other countries nearly 40-50%. I am personally against this method. As a nation we have poured literally millions and millions of dollars into the war torn/famine lands in Africa. And the situation has not changed.
2) Like Diana wrote, I am without speech when I see how much we as a nation just toss money around. Yes, $100.00 for a steak is unbelievable. We buy...buy...buy, and never see the implications of our purchases. Yes, I too buy things all the time. Yes, I used to look for the best value. But what I should do is look for quality. One needs the lower the price, the better the chance that a woman or child is working all day for pennies, just for my bargain. Now mind you, in the land where I hire work...I feel I can price shop. This contractor or that...well whomever produces the best for the least(no I am not hiring a contractor...just an example). I also think that we do not even realize how much we have. Our animals have so much...vet, pet insurance, funerals and headstones....food for senior dogs, inactive dogs, vegetarian foods for them and on and on and on. I use pets as an example because we as people like our comforts(Me too) but my goodness a dog does lick its fanny....always keep that in mind. I love warm showers, a cozy bed, electricity, water, and my very own toilet, but I think we add to our needs and the wants turn into needs. King Solomon was very wealthy and very wise, so I need to mention that money is not a curse(for the very few who can really process being responsible...)I mean how many people do you know, that buy a larger home...when the kids are nearly moved out? What is up with that? And now everyone must have a home office...are we any more business like as a nation? Well clearly not, look how many people need to be bailed out of extremely poor business sense in the housing market. Oh and how much money have you invested in crafts? I am right there with you. Most of us craft for our enjoyment, and for not any other reason.
3) Deby you also had several points that need to be addressed. You are most likely like the rest of us. I mean none of us are starving, nor probably "know" one who is starving. Living month to month is definitely tough, but starving?
A good point I thought was getting out of debt. Now being debt free does not mean that you no longer are a consumer, but that you are a usually a more responsible spender, meaning if you have to wait 3-4 years to save the cash to buy a vehicle, then YOU are in control. Believe me, when Bill bought our truck it was so much easier to have the cash then going in an having *numbers* crunched(meaning how much can the dealer/salesman make off you). He went to San Antonio to visit a sick friend and found an incredible deal, and because we could bought it outright. Business will become better, if YOU have cash as YOU are much more willing tor research everything you can prior to purchase. With our mini van we just bought the cheapest used one(on a note) it was not probably the best thing for us to do, and we had a perfectly fine mini van that we traded in...they *gave* us money on the old and worked a *deal * for us...hmm...now we paid the van off way early....but I will never purchase a vehicle again on a loan. So by being out of debt, and saving the cash YOU are a much wiser consumer. And our economy will not fail. But consumers like those(lenders and buyers alike) who bought homes without the means to buy the home are who we are going to be bailing out. And credit debt, oh my, where do I go on this...it is NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO BUY ON CREDIT. In an emergency we all have the backup...we bought a water heater on credit. But groceries, Christmas, and even clothing are being charged on credit cards. One rarely gets out of credit debt without actually paying tons more than the item cost.
Now Deby the urgency that you expressed on sharing the Good News is head on. I believe that we are so consumed with our consumerism...that we feel that there is not time enough in the day. We are so busy, and on and on. We spend millions each year on bible study guides, and Christian supplements WHEN WE SHOULD BE IN THE WORD FIRST.(I am equally guilty)
We live in times where we want instant results because we now have the means to produce this. I mean I see young couples marry and then fill their homes with beautiful furnishing, when maybe you and certainly your parents worked over time to fill the home. Now...now...now.
We have many people who spend money on liposuction instead of exercising....we expect to be entertained 24-7 and if we are not then we go out for the now fix.
What to do, what to do, what to do??
My life has changed to where I am seeing my former lifestyle and I am often saddened by how I lived. Even now, today, I threw a pop can in the garbage and thought, wow, that can add up if I am diligent, yet I left it in the can. You see as Christians we need to realize that the solution is not easy, as many turn their backs on God's solution. His solution was sending His Son. We need to step back and focus on Him.
What I suggest to this is for you to implement changes in your life. Each and every change that you do, does lower the burden fr another. Can you go one month this year and only purchase groceries and toiletries(medications also)? Could you then take that money pay off one of your credit cards? Could you devote one week a month to making meals from scratch? This is healthier for you because the foods have less preservatives. Could you reduce your clutter/in your home this year by 10%? If you have extra money by deciding not to spend on any more stuff...pay off your home. Then if you have extra...
Well before I get corny VOTE. If the Left gets in we inch closer and closer to Socialism...
Read Jungle-Hut's blog. I mean in Venezuela they are having shortages for milk, can you believe that? The socialist platform is to disperse the money so that we all share and share alike, but as in Cuba, and now Venezuela the money and supplies never go to the masses. Remember in the Soviet Union when there would lines for toilet paper. Socialism is really a system where those in power have all and the rest get little or nothing. Both Hillary and Obama want socialized medicine, and everyone gets college education, and all can move here. You see where we level the playing field and you don't have to work to have things then work seems so well not important...look at France where thousands and thousands of men under the age of 25 are unemployed! Wait unemployed? Because the government gives them the needed things, oh and France has had in the past few years thousands of cars burned, nearly 20 a night due to these *youth* not working and having such free time.
We need to recall why people settled the US. We need to stop justifying our behaviors. We need to stop thinking that because of something we have done that we deserve all these luxuries. I will remind you that the nations that maintain a relationship with the Lord prosper. Those who don't slowly decline. We have removed the Lord from nearly everything, and WE WILL REAP WHAT WE SOW. We are not blessed by having so much, find me a person whose child died for any reason. They will clear up the materialism quickly, child or stuff...then it is easy.
Make no mistake about why I write post like these, I write for me too. I write to remind me that I am not staying focused. That I am getting muddled up in the world. Famine and hunger were in the bible too. Remember what was done? Preparation for the hard times, and I believe that they are coming. Are you prepared? Could you go 7 years on 1/3 of the income you have now? How about 1 year? Could you readjust everything that you hold dear, and rebuild with the chief Cornerstone in your home? Could you skip lunch for a month, and not eat extra at dinner? Could you do these things? I am not sure, but I am willing to rededicate my life to the LORD...can I? Only through Him. I know that because of the fall of man that we can not stop hunger.
I believe that the best fix to this is you. I believe that you can stop your massive consumerism...and move to a slower pace. No don't go off the grid or sell everything that you own, but stop this craziness.
Oh and if you do have money that needs something done with it, well buy bibles...and leave them everywhere, God will do the rest.
Organize a walking club...for every mile you each walk give 1 dollar to a relief agency that you have checked out and feel comfortable with.
Challenge yourself that before you go to purchase more than the basics....read 10 chapters in the Bible. Then go, and see if you *need* to buy it. Force yourself to think about having so many needs and wants met, that maybe God wishes you to have more time to serve Him. Have you considered how very much that YOU CAN DO, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT SO HUNGRY?
Well those are my thoughts
Thanks for helping me think out loud(so to speak!)