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07 February 2011

Post-Superbowl thoughts

We went to a Superbowl party yesterday at Duane's step-brother's house.  That's 2 hours from here in the desert.  We had fun, tho i had a migraine and had forgotten how noisy a party like that could be.  Light doesn't bother me too much (it is a bit of a problem but not as bad as most folks i know with migraine), but noises seem to be amplified by 100%.  

Duane's step-brother's home is really lovely.  It is about 5 years old, and so the house is new and neat and large.  His wife has done a beautiful job of decorating it.  (Often in a house with lots of decorations, i see "clutter and dusting," but her house doesn't seem to be overcrowded that way.)  I have to say that while i think their house really beautiful and convenient, i'm not envious.  I like where we live.  I like Sugarbear.  Our home may not be as convenient, up-to-date, or pretty and new, but it also doesn't come with the expense that all that has.  Sugarbear was less than half the price they paid for their home, and i'm so thankful not to have their mortgage payment.  If we had that much debt, we would not have much of the freedom we currently have with our jobs and in our lives.

On the drive home i told Duane that i felt we were well-off.  He responded with all the ways that (by US standards) we do NOT fit the label of "well-off."  And i understand his point and agree we are not "affluent."  However, i was thinking of the freedom i've already mentioned, and this sentiment that i recently received, again, in an email.  It has been out there a while now, have you read it?

Global Village
If you could fit the entire population of the world into a village consisting of 100 people, maintaining the proportions of all the people living on Earth, that village would consist of:

57 Asians

21 Europeans
14 Americans (North, Central and South)
8 Africans
There would be: 52 women and 48 men

30 Caucasians and 70 non-Caucasians
30 Christians and 70 non-Christians
89 heterosexuals and 11 homosexuals
6 people would possess 59% of the wealth and they would all come from the USA
80 would live in poverty

70 would be illiterate
50 would suffer from hunger and malnutrition
1 would be dying 1 would be being born
1 would own a computer
1 (yes, only one) would have a university degree
If we looked at the world in this way, the need for acceptance and understanding would be obvious.

But, consider again the following :
If you woke up this morning in good health, you have more luck than one million people, who won’t live through the week. 

If you have never experienced the horror of war, the solitude of prison, the pain of torture, were not close to death from starvation, then you are better off than 500 million people.

If you can go to your place of worship without fear that someone will assault or kill you, then you are luckier than 3 billion (that's right) people.

If you have a full fridge, clothes on your back a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are wealthier than 75% of the world's population.

If you currently have money in the bank, in your wallet and a few coins in your purse, you are one of 8 of the privileged few amongst the 100 people in the world. 
There is a little more if you want to check it out here:  Daily Cognition

Of course, these numbers were torn apart by Snopes.  The stats were off.  Slightly different numbers from the different continents.  Male/female would be closer to 50/50.  This overstates illiteracy.  So, i'm not saying that this is 100% faithful to the world (we're not going to drop the population to 100 folks, anyway).  But the sentiment behind these numbers remains the same.

Compared to most of the world, we are well-off.  By US standards Duane and i may fall a bit lower than middle, but i think we are still well-off compared to most here.  The disability that limits me so has not bankrupted us. Yes, we have to be careful.  Yes, if Duane lost his job we'd be hurting.  Yes, it is true we don't have unlimited assets.  But i still think we are blessed.

Have you seen this email/presentation before?  How about you?  Are you blessed?  Content?  Well-off?




lisa said...

We are blessed just because we have each other and our love and I think that is the most important of all!! We have been together for almost 26 years and we have been in pretty tight situations and we are now just getting to where we want to be. So, happiness is what you make of it and we are pretty happy. I think you always wish you could be even better than what you are but it is a working progress.

Anonymous said...

The fact that both of us are communicating via internet makes us more fortunate than the majority of the world. But whether rich or poor, we can be happy if we can learn to be content. Some of the rich find no comfort or happiness despite their riches. Some of the poor are truly happy and full of thanksgiving despite their poverty. I think it is good to be in the latter group.

But I confess that I always say this; "They say that money can't buy happiness. All I ask is for the opportunity to prove that is true." :)

Mrs. Mac said...

Our pastor once stated that even the poorest person in the USA is wealthier than most people in the world.

Amrita said...

Dear Kathryn, trust you had a good Super Bowl party.

Your home is very nice by my Indian standards sister.
I try to hide my clutter - it is also stuff that other family members have stored or left in our house. I give away lots of stuff.

What you say about the Great Divide is very true. And it exsists with my country.

God supplies all our needs, but if I compare myself with others - friends and family people I would be very poor.

When I lost my job due to disability I had to down scale myself a great deal.Everything has to be measured and weighted carefully.

But still we rejoice in God 's blessings.

Mali said...

This is a nice reminder to appreciate what we have. Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature to always want more. That's what causes war, plunders the earth of resources, and leaves many people without anything.

Like you, we're not affluent. We have to prioritise our spending to be able to live the way we want to. But we are very, very lucky.

Kathryn said...

Lisa, you are blessed! Congrats on 26 years - that is quite an accomplishment. Plus being in a comfortable spot. I'm glad that you have come thru the tight places. :)

Hi Calvin - yes, i am convinced that we are among the fortunate, and with those blessings need (as i know you do) to assist others where we can.

I, too, have wished to try the money/happiness dichotomy, but there is so much i would not have learned without some time of want.

Mrs. Mac - i think your pastor is right!

Amrita, we did have a good day.

I am thankful for our home. We give away a lot of things, but i still struggle with clutter. I know we have a lovely home and are well-off, but compared to most of the rest of our family, we look to be on the poorer side too. I guess that is why i can't compare myself to others, but simply be thankful for all i have.

Mali - i think you are right. As humans we do seem to always want more. I consider us very, very lucky, too. Blessings on you. :)