My pastor referenced the Global Rich List a few Sunday's ago in his sermon.
Wow. In terms of world wide incomes, Jonathan and I are loaded. Stinkin' rich!
In terms of American incomes, however, we are solidly middle class. And so that's how we tend to classify ourselves.
I focus my energy on the "woes of the American middle class" (Gas prices are up! Food prices are up! I can't afford health care! Taxes are out of control! My kids need new shoes!), instead of thinking globally.
Globally speaking, I am the envy of nearly 99% of the world. Gas prices are up? Millions of people will never travel within a few miles of where they were born. Food prices are up? I think I can live without that 2 liter of Pepsi and box of name brand cereal. Millions of people are sustained on beans and rice, and with the global food crisis even those basic staples are uncertain.
If you are in a family of four earning $21,000 (the federal poverty guideline), you are still in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world. No doubt it's a struggle to live at the federal poverty guideline. I don't make light of that - I've been there before, and it's difficult. But globally speaking, even someone considered living in "poverty" in the US is wealthy by world wide standards.
At $21,00 per year, 90% of the people on the planet make less money than you do.
It's really mind blowing if you take the time to consider how rich we are.
It's also mind blowing to consider the responsibility that accompanies all that blessing.
Help me Lord, to move beyond just being thankful for my "wealth." Move me to action Lord. Amen.
Way to put things in perspective for all of us. We need to hear things like this every once in a while.