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Jan 3, 2008

I think, at least once in all of our lives, we have felt oppressed and even, dare I say, poorer than others. But, today, you have to look at yourself and ask that question, do ya feel lucky?

OK, so I plagiarised Clint Eastwood's famous line while play Harry Callaghan but I'm not going to add the "did I fire five" suffix. But by taking stock of your own lives, the neighbourhood you live in, the quality of your friends, the prices you are willing (or not) to pay to keep yourself and your family's head above water. The fact that you have a roof over your head. The fact that the country you live in isn't aloud with the crescendo of bombs and guns; that in your street there are not young starving children on the sidewalk picking up bits of blown grain in order to encourage some sort of sustenance, a meal.

That's what I'm going to talk about in this passage;

Sometimes, and probably for most, only sometimes, we feel hard done by. Looking at the individual economies of some countries, I think we have the right to feel aggrieved.  Prices being hiked without good reason every now and again and we know, we believe, it is only through the insatiable greed of those who wield the power sticks; that we don't get much choice and we still continue to pay despite our reluctance. Because we have to.

We waste food at astronomical rates. Our standards are usually set so high we feel, as purchasers of that food, retain the right to discard it as we see fit, if it does not fit a criterion we have selfishly become accustomed to. That may sound harsh and cruel, but I'll bet if you sit and think about it, you'll know it's right. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that's how it is.

The same can said for our homes. We are, in the western world, lucky enough or, as many of you would rather see it described, worked hard enough to have a roof over our heads. It isn't a luxury, it's necessity and one, NO-ONE should be without. Just like,  at least, a daily meal

Many of you will own a car. I own a car and don't know how I'd cope if I didn't have one. I have trouble walking any reasonable distance without agony. My car is my lifeline to the outside, the physical world (as opposed to the world I inhabit via the internet).  If I had to walk six miles for water, for my family, we'd all die of thirst.
Simple really. So I guess, in a way, I'm lucky enough to have taps in my house which save me that walk to a far off communal well probably infested with microscopic health threatening creatures, something we have filtered out before it reaches our homes.

For lighting we have electricity. That, like our water, like our gas, is 'iped' into our homes as if by magic. It isn't magic, it's cables and piping but, we don't need candles to help us see. In fact, we have candles, usually scented, that smoke all day, eliminating niffs and whiffs we are not particularly fond of.

When winter settles in, I have central heating in my home. To keep us warm. If I lived in a tin hut in the middle of nowhere with just a candle for light and heat, I guess we all perish.

Is that lucky? Is this because the hand of fate dealt me from the bottom of the pack, allowing me the comforts and luxuries to which I have become accustomed, that I possibly could not now, live without? What do you think?

The world is full of a mish-mash of diverse peoples. It has ultimately become a world of them and us. They are the poor, the destitute, the sick, the frail  the dying, the homeless, the war ravaged.

We are the  us, the us that could, if we so wished to, do something about it but we are governed by people who shout a lot about poverty in what is colloquially known now as "The Third World". And we put those people into power, or at least, most of them. I didn't want to go into a political reformation plea bargain, that just occurred as I wrote, so do forgive me. But, it doesn't change the fact that, those elected officials made untold promises to us, not only change our lives for the better, but would see that those in the afflicted parts of the world would have their lives changed for the better too. Has it happened? Has it heck as like!

Why is it called "The Third World?" where is the second? And, more importantly, the first? Who is it  that makes the decisions to donate funds to help those in countries who, perhaps for no fault of their own, cannot balance their economies and have their people starving and dying in abject poverty? What's so lucky about that?

A small child on a desert highway somewhere in the war torn region of, lets say, the Sudan. He or she is walking through the dust and sand, with a bucket hanging from their neck, maybe on a yoke, off to find water to bring back for their family, either to drink, to wash, to bathe stricken and skeletal bodies or to cook with. Have we any real conception of this scene. These are scenes we don't see in our everyday, probably, mundane existences. We don't see the agony of this child, walking miles and miles just for a bucket of water.

We fail to comprehend this sort of life when, in comparison to our own, ample lives, bears no resemblance whatsoever. Is this child lucky in the hike to seek water? I don't think they'd call it luck but on the other hand, this child is probably lucky because he or she is ABLE to walk the distance to the well. IS able to bring water back to their family, for whatever they will use it for. Lucky enough to be alive?

During a water shortage a few short years ago, people queued at street standpipes to bring water to their homes, their families. And guess what? There were raised voices, protests, angry people, because water was in short supply. Were we lucky to have the standpipe in the first place?

There is a message here and, if you are followers of any particular religion, you'll know exactly what I mean.

So, here we all are. We have money to shop with. And many of us have jobs to earn that money. We have cars that probably help clog up the atmosphere and donate the symptoms of asthma to our young. We have homes of bricks and mortar in which to live, to shelter, to sleep and to keep us warm. We have supermarkets and corner stores in which we can buy consumables to feed us whenever we like; when hunger bites us just four hours after breakfast, we are able to sate our rumbling tums with a snack of a portion or junk food while "experts" continue to bleat about what we are eating and how it is bad for us.  While in another country, on another continent, children are starving to death, in agony. Parents there are giving up their  meals to sustain their weakening children. And we toss half eaten burgers into trash cans.

Those same people would fight for that half eaten burger, despite all it's E numbers, acne and clogged artery creating saturated fat.

We help, we all have helped to, hopefully, ease some of the suffering by whatever means open to us via donations etc. Should we do more? Could we do more? Can we afford it ourselves. Looking at price hikes, the fat cats getting fatter on the proceeds we spend in their stores, is it possible for us to give more and again I ask, should we?

After all, it's not our responsibility, is it? Is it? We have a duty to one another as brethren. It matters little how some holy texts are translated, they all have the same basic message and I see no mention of luck. No do I see any mention of allowing millions of people to become homeless, to fall victim to killer, incurable diseases, to starve to death in an agonising and undignified way.

At the end of any day, we are all one union. One faith if you like. Humanity! We are lucky enough not to be afflicted by the injustices many around this beautiful world of ours are. If you look at Africa, the biggest problem that needs attention forthwith. Darfur and Rwanda prime examples. Look at Asia and it's separate nations,  India and Pakistan in particular,  the plight they have suffered for one reason or another. Brazil has problems with people suffering in poverty as do many other nations in the South American continent.

 There are too many nations to list them all. There are too many people who have died, are dying, to list here also.

In the world, there is a lot of money. A LOT of money! But it all belongs to a few people, only hundreds in a world population of six billion! When Communism reared it's head, the ideals weren't all that bad, but, they were handled wrongly. People suffered when they shouldn't have.

All this money is secreted away in invisible accounts. Why? How are these people going to spend all they have accumulated? Why not share a little, give to places that need  it now. I've said it before, I'll say it again, when you die and you will, eventually, what will happen to all this treasure you've troved? You cannot take it with you!

Still feel lucky? Or not lucky at all?

I think we're all lucky we have our lives. We're lucky in the sense that we don't have to grovel in the dirt looking for a meal. We're lucky that we  don't have to walk miles for water, that we are blessed by invention, electricity. That we are tapped into gas, that we have doctors and nurses in hospitals and surgeries the world over, who are willing to help us, they have pills for this and another for that, that we have bread in our bellies and a roof over our heads. We have luxuries of TV on which we can now see, piped into our living rooms, the plight of people who really are not among the lucky people of this cruel, cruel world.

So, do ya still feel lucky?

© tcmoon 2007
Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Thursday January 3, 2008, 5:47 pm
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Lisa S. (10)
Sunday January 6, 2008, 10:59 am
We aren't lucky, but rather blessed by God. And as we are all brothers and sisters of Christ, we should share God's love and give back to others. This is a great article to remind us of our joys and to remind us of the sufferings and hardships elsewhere in the world. I usually keep this note on my various profiles - something to remind me and others to help those in need:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Did you know?- Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger: of these deaths are children under 5. 1.3 billion people on our planet live on less than a dollar a day.
So PLEASE donate, volunteer, and pray for all those suffering and ill ...

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Ron M.
male, age 56, married, 3 children
Didcot. Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
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