15 Habits of Great Writers Challenge – Day 12, Provoke
Jeff Goins challenged us to write something thought-provoking today.
A few months ago, I went to downtown Dallas to feed the homeless with a group from our church. I don’t say this to brag, because truthfully, I am ashamed to admit it was the first time in my life I’d ever done that. It was hot outside, at least 100 degrees, and very little shade. People came by to get their food, enjoy the fan and talk to others who were in search of a meal.
It was one man’s birthday. All he wanted was to be with his kids, but they were in another state. He wore a smile anyway as he mingled with the others at their tables. I’ve thought a lot about him since that time, and wondered what it must be like to not have your kids around because you have no job or home. Or to have the highlight of your week be a meal on a Saturday with all the other homeless people in the area.
My own life is so opposite. I’m free to complain if the temperature isn’t working right in my house, or if the lawn mowing service people didn’t mow on the right day of the week. In those moments, I’ve forgotten how much I truly have and how little others in the world have.
The majority of Americans are in the top 1% of the world’s income earners. For most of us, that means our income is 36 times that of the average person. That top 1% earn an annual salary of $41,000 per household.
Most of us are the richest people in the world, yet we complain that we are poor. How many times do I buy coffee and not think twice about it? How many times do I toss my leftovers because they’ve gone bad? How many times do I upgrade my computer or cell phone in a year without batting an eye?
I don’t mean to make us feel guilty for having too much. I think it’s a reminder that maybe, we have more than we realize. And maybe there are ways we can help those who don’t have as much. Whether it’s giving to our local church or charities, or serving those in our community that are in need, there are hundreds of opportunities to give back. Maybe next time, I might think twice about complaining when the line to the movie theater is too long.
If you wonder how you compare to the rest of the world, check out this calculator. Plug in your annual income here and see where you fall.
What ways have you found to give back?