Monday, May 6, 2013

EDITORIAL: Reconciling my inner turmoil


How much is enough?
What we have? A little more? A lot more?
Can we even define it? 
Do we care?
Should we care?

In my mind, ENOUGH means:
  • Enough fresh water.
  • Enough food.
  • Enough shelter.
  • Enough education.
Just plain enough. Enough of the essentials to sustain life AND to flourish.

Speaking for myself, I can’t even remember not having enough. I’ve always had clean water to quench my thirst, food to fill my belly, a roof over my head and a respectable school. I was even fortunate enough to earn a degree after high school.

Sure, I’ve endured “tough times” like:
  • Being teased at school for my hand-sewn clothing 
  • Boxed mac-n-cheese with SPAM or squirrel pie (honest!) for countless dinners 
  • Drafty windows that made the house—especially my bedroom—very cold
  • Riding the bus to school instead of driving a car
  • Struggling over bills and credit card payments
Looking back, I am still thankful …
  • Thankful for the fabric and buttons that held my clothes together and for the hands that made them (even if not high fashion)
  • Thankful for the simple groceries that filled our pantry and the hands that prepared meals every day (even if not steak and lobster)
  • Thankful to live in a house and for the income that paid the mortgage (even if not a new house)
  • Thankful my education (even if not from an Ivy League college)
For those of you who have traveled to developing countries, my guess is that you can relate to the inner turmoil I feel after every trip there and home again.

I hold a firm belief that the world has enough resources for everyone. What I think is lacking is our distribution of it.

“Enough,” as I see it, is wrapped up in “more” and “I deserve this” and “I earned this.” For many of us, “enough” lacks compassion and forethought to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Oh, sure, “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is great—in theory. But for those trying to break the cycle of generational poverty, “trying harder” usually isn’t enough to make a change—and perhaps never will be.

So what is our obligation to others? 
To our fellow human beings? 
Do we simply relish in our “we are so blessed” feelings?
Or, dare I say it, do we work together to make a real and lasting difference?

This is one of the reasons that I got involved with The Red Thread Promise: the desire to make a difference. Whether it's fundraising for a Chinese baby's surgery, working hands-on in Haiti at Camp Jake, or volunteering at a hippotherapy farm, I pray everyday that in some tiny way, I can be a part of positive change in the world.

~ Sonya, Vice President, The Red Thread Promise

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I agree! In my case, being poor and not having all my needs met made me especially sensitive to the needs of others. Also, I think it is difficult to maintain the sense that you have enough in our culture which always says that we need more more more. I find not watching tv helps.