“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” NELSON MANDELA
“Live simply so that others may simply live.” GANDHI
Some of you are saying, “Larry, what does poverty have to do with a great day?”
Did you wake up from a peaceful sleep in a warm, comfortable bed? Do you have a roof over your head? Have you done your gratitude list for this day? Did you eat a hearty breakfast? Will you probably live this day without threat of gun violence or persecution for your belief system?
Congratulations! Your day has the promise of being a GREAT DAY. A majority of the world’s population does not have that promise. But, many of those people go out and make it a fantastic day regardless of circumstances. That’s the miracle of our species – we are survivors who have an innate desire to thrive.
Does your need to thrive ride on the backs of the less fortunate? Does mine? When was the last time we chose to contribute to our local homeless shelter in lieu of a new addition to our designer clothes or, perhaps, buy that man standing on the corner with a cardboard sign a lunch at Burger King rather than a steak for our dinner tonight? When did we last decide to live more simply so that others in our world would have a dish of rice to eat or a cup of clean water to drink? When?
My friend, it is absolutely a great day because we have so many choices in front of us. We can choose what we will eat rather than if we can afford to eat. We can choose which chair or sofa we will rest upon rather than which overpass we will seek for shelter. We can choose to tidy up our living room rather than rearrange our boxes and tarp. Do we understand that much of the world does not have adequate food, shelter or water and our Western culture of greed and consumption has contributed to that shortage?
Along with substantial blessing comes substantial responsibility. You and I ARE our brothers’ keepers. That is not a suggestion; it is a mandate dictated by all the world’s major religions and belief systems. Hug our loved ones this morning, appreciate all that has been given to us, and then contemplate how we can live more simply and help eradicate poverty.