Tuesday, February 09, 2010

WHY ME? AND WHY IT MATTERS.

When was the last time you asked yourself, "Why Me?"

Not "whyyyyyy meee?" like you have some bone to pick with God.

But, "why me?"... like how did I get here and not there?

When I see the tragedy of Haiti or drive 30 minutes south of my house into Mexico or look through the pictures of my months in Uganda, I can't help but ask myself, "Why me?"

Why is my house still standing, why are there 3 cars in my driveway, why did I get to go to college, why do I have fresh water in my pipes in 6 different faucets, why do I have any money in my bank account, why is my family healthy, why did I not die at 17 in a car crash, why have I never lived in a mud hut?

Speaking of mud huts though: some of my family actually has lived in a mud hut. Becky and Billy spent their first 6 months of life in one and and the next 5 in an orphanage and trust me, there is a very stark contrast to what those two kids consider "normal" today.

As far as I was concerned, I never thought it was really possible for someone to live on less than $1-$2 a day. I even doubted that statistic all together. I mean homeless people with a sign and a tin can in San Diego live on more than that. I didn't "get it" until I wandered through the streets of a village in Uganda, just minutes from the nearest "city". Here's how it is done:

  • you have no water bill. to get water, you either walk long distances to get fresh water in jugs you carry or you go to a closer, often unsafe source.
  • you grow/catch/hunt/raise your own food and barter for what you need. You share with your family and neighbors. you eat very little and only what is locally available. Ie: if your country's climate doesn't grow grapes, then you don't eat them. Etc.
  • you don't have property taxes or a house payment, cuz your home is made from sticks, mud, wood, bricks, grasses, and other locally available resources.
  • you have no electrical bill, no cable bill, no satellite bill, no internet bill, and no mail box to get them in anyway.
  • you have little more in clothing than what is on you
  • you have no furniture
  • you have no life insurance, car insurance, dental care, or health insurance
  • you have no car and walk or take cheap public transportation everywhere you go.

And you don't just live in "Africa". What I described is "extreme global poverty"and it hits people all over the world. And not one or two. Not even hundreds or thousands. What I described is BILLIONS!!!!

So, my answer to "Why Me?" is not really all that clear. What I do know is 2 things:
  1. I may have made some good choices along the way, but I did not die on the battle field to ensure I could. I did not choose my parents or the social class they belong to. I did not grow up in the 1500's. I did not choose to become a citizen of the wealthiest country on the planet. I did not do a lot of things that have radically shaped my life and who I am today.
  2. I can do some things to make a difference with what I've been given. I can and must!
There are some great ways I try to help both practically and financially.
  • I give to KIVA: an amazing way to lend to small business with as little as $25, and the small businesses you lend to, pay you back!
  • We sponsor children around the world in organizations like World Vision.
  • We give fresh water via people like Charity Water.
  • And most recently, I gave my days wages to One Days Wages.
Regarding One Day's Wages, it was started just this past September by a college friend, fellow pastor, and Alpha Gamma Omega fraternity brother of mine, Eugene Cho... and it is a GREAT ORGANIZATION with a simple and yet profound vision:

To end extreme global poverty and to fight the issues that are systemic from it.

How do they intend to do this? By rallying people around the globe to give just 0.4% of their annual income to the task. Yep, Just ONE DAY'S WAGE.

HERE'S 3 THINGS I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO TO JOIN THIS GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT:
  1. Join the over 770,000 fans of their facebook page. Follow their Twitter feed. Just pump whatever avenues you have to make some noise about this group.
  2. Visit their website and let their wage calculator tell you what your daily wage is and give it to the cause. One day's wage.
  3. Give these two short 3 minute videos a listen. They will inspire and challenge you.




3 comments:

Amy 12:47 AM  

Love this post. I think it's my favorite. I think you and I are kindred spirits. Except you are way smarter than me. And have a lot more energy. And you're a man. Which makes you really different than me. But we're the same. Following?

Kris and Busisi 6:11 AM  

Thank you for that reminder

Todd 12:10 AM  

I've only met him once, and I've followed his blog for a few years, but Eugene Cho is an amazing man.

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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