There is an image, images really, that has been going around Facebook and Google+ during the last week. The top image is of protesters from Occupy Wall Street and the bottom image is of emaciated, starving children reaching for food. In the image are the words, “In America, you are the 99% but to the rest of the world you are still the 1%.” The caption below the images reads, “When you win your battle, remember the war is not over yet.”
I was reminded of this image this morning as I sought to start the coin-operated dryer in my building. It didn’t start. I pulled my smartphone out of my pocket, called the service number, and took my wet clothes out of the dryer. I got into my not-very-old car and drove three-quarters of a mile to the laundromat. Aggravating? Annoying? For sure.
I am wealthy by world standards. I use more than my share of resources. If you’re American, you likely do, too.
We are a wealthy nation. We are only 5% of the world population using far beyond our share of global resources. For example, the United States “uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources.” (1) Despite my efforts at downsizing, I never worry about my next meal (2). Despite the growing inequity between the American 99% and the 1%, that needs to be addressed, my problem this morning was miniscule.
Abundant Creator God,
Thank you for the gift of a world of abundant resources. May I be more generous and less selfish. Help me focus more on gathering only what I need today and leave the rest for others. Help me to share the abundance that you provide so that all of your people will have enough, wherever they live on this planet.
(1) Worldwatch Institute, The State of Consumption. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/810
(2) See my previous posts on “Emptying Barns”