Janie Slaven: BURKHART: two worlds, both insecure

June 4 – Of the eight billion people on the planet, more than three billion lack sufficient money/resources to achieve food security – and approximately one thousand of those three billion die every day.

These United Nations statistics indicate that those of us who are food secure have never gone hungry — 2 to 3 days without food. Therefore, it is difficult for us to understand food deprivation and the threat of starvation.

The chasm that separates the “haves” from the “have-nots” is rarely recognized by either. It’s like two different worlds, which neither overlap nor understand each other.

The desperately poor/hungry are unable to imagine what it is like to be well nourished and to have regular access to an abundance of food. Well-nourished people, who never experience severe hunger, are unable to understand or imagine the seriousness of food depravity – living on the brink of starvation.

This is the main reason why the world’s poor are easily ignored by the rest of the world. We tend to be insecure – remaining preoccupied and obsessed with our own day-to-day concerns – children, work, bills, marriage, careers and health.

Most of us “own” identify our days as full of difficulties and stress. We can all identify with Jesus’ leading, “Renounce yourselves and take up your cross daily and follow me.” [Luke 9:23] Even those of us who are blessed with abundance and all the conveniences see life as constantly “uphill,” with drudgery, disappointments, failures, and uncertainties.

Every human being has reasons to define living on earth as never without pain; with everyone’s future predictably precarious.

Yet those in abject depravity – deprived of the necessities of life, see us as “haves” as having everything – painless and painless, wallowing in our miserable excesses. It is true that we are often so preoccupied with “our abundance” that any concern for the less fortunate is diffuse.

One thing is certain, none of us on earth live in enchantment. Understanding who we are and where we are is important. No one has the world by the tail. We are all weak, limited, confused, unstable – HUMANS!

Faced with our inevitable struggles in this finite world of daily challenges and difficulties, where can we find joy, peace and success? Perhaps the first step is to understand that the very nature of ourselves and the world around us is never perfect or permanent.

We are each precious and uniquely created to care for each other – to love each other. Our pleasure in life on earth is proportional to our service/help. May we all not be so locked into our world that the depravities of the three billion poor are ignored.

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