It’s no secret that your relationships with others are enriched when you learn to appreciate one another for the little things (not just the big stuff). The same goes for feeling enriched in the life you live – regardless of your circumstances. When you learn to continuously appreciate the "little" things in life, only then will you discover an indestructible inner peace within – one that money cannot buy.
This is most evident in people who are less fortunate and yet able to stay in good spirits. They’ve found a way to maintain inner peace regardless of their situation.
I’ve come to know that part of the journey to finding inner peace is to understand life is so much more than what’s happening in front of us. Just because we do not see it does not mean it isn’t there. Just because we do not feel it does not mean it isn’t happening. Your life, whether you believe this or not, is but only a dream for billions of people in this world.
Take thirty bucks for example: what’s thirty bucks to you? How do you spend thirty bucks in a single day?
Now, what if I told you, in most poverty stricken countries, thirty bucks can provide a child three nourishing meals a day, proper education and medical care for one full month?
In 1994, through World Vision, I sponsored a 5-year-old child in Zimbabwe, Africa, for thirty dollars a month. Her name was Lasi Sibanda. We stayed in touch by mail. However, four years ago, she sent me a letter expressing her deepest gratitude for my sponsorship. The funds have raised her well—she completed school and was working.
What I didn’t know was that the funds also helped her family become self-sufficient and in turn, were able to contribute in helping their community. They no longer needed my help. Instead, I was kindly led to sponsor 4-year-old Doreen Komunjumba in Uganda, Africa. It was then that I truly grasp the notion of what thirty dollars can do.
Lives can be empowered… A better future can take shape…
Sadly, many people think of the world as a compartmentalized entity that is made up of various countries. Some of these countries are rich, some poor. Some are over populated, and some under populated. Some are rich with natural resources, others are barren and infertile.
However, where we as individuals fit into this scheme, some may say it’s the luck of the draw and others may say it’s a choice we can make for this particular lifetime.
If you were born in a region of the world that happens to be rich with resources, or economically prosperous, you’re more likely to not worry about where to go for food, what disease you may die of tomorrow, or who will take care of you when you’re sick.
The reality is that we are all inhabitants of this single place called earth, and there is no reason why one person arbitrarily born in one country should live in poverty, while others born in another country live a relatively lavish lifestyle.
Imagine for a moment…if the world was one country. Then imagine that the world president started allocating land to all the citizens. How would you feel if you were randomly given a piece of land which turned out to be a desert barren of life, while your next door neighbor ended up on top of a gold mine? Obviously you would think it was unfair, right?
Well then imagine if your rich neighbor started using their wealth and influence to make your life even more difficult by taking what little resources you had, and polluting your environment. That is exactly what happens today between developed and undeveloped countries.
It is a fact that rich nations would not be wealthy if there were not poor nations to support us. We could not possibly afford our products if it wasn’t for people working in factories for less than a dollar a day, nor could we afford to feed ourselves if it wasn’t for the billions of people farming in developing countries for less than three hundred dollars a year.
We would not be able to buy prawns if it wasn’t for the tens of thousands of prawn farms in south east Asia and south America—as there is no way developed societies would allow this environmentally damaging practice to take place in our own backyard.
Examples like these are endless, but they show that the developed world’s standard of living, for the most part, is supported by the demise of others.
It is not one person that created the divide between the developed world and the developing world, nor can one person fix the issues. Therefore, we as "global citizens" all have a social and moral obligation to help each other to enable a safe and healthy life for all.
Keep this in mind when you’re ready to donate to a charity of your choice. After all, what does thirty bucks mean to you? A cheap sweater? Five Starbucks coffee? For the less fortunate, it means much more; it means a chance for health and education, hope for the future and a great reason to live.