After these statistics were said and done, I felt so uncomfortably convicted, that I just wanted to vomit. I was especially convicted because I preach a lot of these stats, but don't always live it. With that said, these stats are hard to look at, and should be addressed within ones own heart, but it should also be understood that our western minds might take longer to really change the ways we live, and that's okay... just as long as we (Christians) begin to recognize that something has to change. We shouldn't be the ones standing alongside the people at Walmart racing, and literally KILLING people, to get the new video game system... we should be/look different.
/////////////////////// All stats taken from Erre's notes - see more here.
The United States constitutes 6% of the world’s population
The United States consumes 40-50% of the world’s resources
Only 8% of the world’s population has a car
1.2 billion people live on 23 cents a day
55% of the world lives on less than $2 a day
Average American lives on $105 a day
40% of the world lacks basic sanitation
1.2 billion people don’t have clean drinking water
Every 15 seconds a child dies from waterbourne illness
Americans consume 26 billion liters of bottled water per year
800 million people will not eat today; 300 million of those are kids
25,000 people die per day from hunger related causes
Every 3 seconds someone dies of hunger
Americans spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half the world does on ALL
2 billion people in the world have no electricity
1% of people in the world own a computer
1% of people in the world have a college education
Basic education for all - $6 billion
Water and sanitation for all - $9 billion
Basic health and nutrition for all - $13 billion
Annual expenditure for cosmetics in the United States - $8 billion
Annual expenditure for ice cream in the United States - $20 billion
Materialism is the #1 reason that I hate celebrating Christmas.
Everyone gets SO wrapped up (no pun intended) in the gift giving, that they completely fail to (1) Realize what Christmas is actually celebrating, and (2) Being thankful for the family and friends around them.
I am working right now alongside people who are picking up extra shifts, and staying for 24 hour shifts, while just making themselves crazy to earn extra money to buy Christmas presents. The whole thing is out of control. What else could we possibly need?
I look at my life - the clothes in my closet, the car in the parking lot, the roof over my head, the food in the pantry, the warm bed to sleep on, the computer to type with, the TV to watch, the roomies to talk to, the cell phone to be connected to the world... *sigh*... ALL of these things. I am incredibly blessed, and I don't need anything else. I don't need it.
So before you shop this Friday, I hope that you would think of alternate gift ideas for this holiday season. Whether it's something homemade, a nice letter, or a special gift from the World Vision Catalog, make this year less about you, and more about the people who actually need "things" to survive another day.