Christ taught his followers to love one another, and we often hear the phrase, “Love your neighbor.” But who is he? Years ago our neighbors were those living closest to us, the ones whose children played with our children, the ones we walked up the road to visit, the ones we could borrow a cup of sugar from. Today our neighbors are those we send e-mails to in another state or another country. In short, modern day technology has made the whole world a neighborhood.
Some intellect has reduced the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with the existing human ratios staying the same. It makes for very interesting reading and helps put the world’s humanity in a new perspective.
If there were just 100 people in the world, there would be:
14 from the Western Hemisphere (both north and south)
8 would be Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death
1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 (yes, only 1) would own a computer
When we consider our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for understanding is made more apparent. Our blessings are even more evident. Therefore if you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the rest of humanity.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in the cup holder in your car, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you can attend a worship service without fear of arrest, torture, or even death, you have the contentment and peace that eludes more than three billion people on this earth. If you have never been in prison, never experienced the agony of torture or the pain of starvation, you are better off than 500 million people in the world.
If both of your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in the United States. If you can read this, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
I believe that most of us are truly grateful for what we have and that we know we live in the richest, kindest, freest, nation on the planet. I believe that most of us do love our neighbors as we have been instructed but sometimes we just need to be reminded.
Information for this column was sent to me by a former Stephenville resident now living in California. I wanted to share it with you.