Friday, October 8, 2010

My Problems:

I awake to the soft music of my alarm clock, nestled in my Queen-size bed in a large beautiful house where the air is always at 70 degrees and clean with a garage larger than some people’s house. My feet touch the carpeted floor as I stretch and I put on my comfy white bathrobe to make my way to the bath room. In our bath, I hit the auto-coffee maker button, turn on the bathroom LCD TV and begin shaving with my electric razor. My teeth are brushed with a cordless toothbrush and I down over 9 vitamins with several swigs of coffee and freshly bottled water from the small refrigerator under one of our sinks. I am quite annoyed by the several half-used tubes of toothpaste and wonder why we don’t roll the tubes properly. I take a hot shower and stand impatiently waiting for the water to reach the perfect warmth, then weigh myself and measure my body fat index on the electronic scale. My smart-phone is belching out alarms indicating that I have appointments, emails and text messages. I am concerned that my weight is 3 pounds over, but then reconcile this knowing I downed over 9 pieces of cheese pizza some 12 hours ago. I put on a fresh pair of clothing, slip on my $200 Italian shoes and move down stairs. I open the curtains and observe the sprinkler system running and several spots that are not lush green. I push the button on the button on the kitchen coffee machine and continue drinking to satisfy my pleasant caffeine addiction. I move to my home office to my computer checking email and am annoyed that my ISP is slower than normal today for some reason. I check my email accounts, create some replies and read my morning devotionals on line. I say a prayer with my wife and then head off to the office. I crawl into my new truck, noticing that I failed to wash the dust off of it this weekend, turn the FM radio to Christian rock and leave closing the garage door with another button. The garage door remote needs new batteries and I am annoyed. I notice that my trash should be picked up today and I hope that the trash-person does not litter anything that may fall out of the trash truck, because that is so annoying to me. If they do this today, I shall call the company and complain of poor service and make them return to clean up any litter and demand a refund for this month’s services. While I drive into work, my voice mail is blaring through my blue-tooth on the radio with many people wanting something from me. I reconcile this stress knowing that my 6 figure salary is going to make up for such annoyances. I get to the office in good time and notice that someone has taken the parking place that I normally use. I am annoyed. I get into work and venture to the cafĂ© to get yet another cup of office coffee, knowing that it will not compare with the taste that I’ve been enjoying thus far from our Bistro machines at home. I sit at my desk and begin my work. But first I check my investment portfolios and am a bit annoyed with the rates of return being 1% less than what I expected earlier this month. I am annoyed at my financial planner and will call her today. I am annoyed at the number of emails and the number of teleconferences that I have today. But I ‘suck it up,’ and move on to the tasks of the day, knowing that tonight I’ll take out my $2500 mountain bike to my favorite ridge and enjoy myself. I also know that next Friday afternoon, I’ll head up the canyon and do some fly fishing using one of my 8 different fly rods, each of which are worth over $500. I’ll catch some fish, release them and enjoy this sport. But today is Monday and we are programmed to hate these wretched days of work and corporate slavery. So I dread the day, and look forward to the weekend where on Saturday I’ll pay $150 for a round of golf, escaping the stresses of life.
My life is full of such problems.
Meanwhile, some 10,000 miles southeast of my house, a refugee-villager, with the same educational level as mine, is getting ready to try and sleep in their mud hut. It is dark and they have no electricity or clean water. Their candles and kerosene lanterns are their only source of light, filling the air with the pungent fumes of burnt kerosene. There is no door on their hut, only a dingy rag that deters some bugs, but not that many. They have only 1/3 of their yellow gallon water jug left from today for bathing and drinking, preparing what little they can prior to lying on their cobbled-together wooden platform that sits just high enough so that the rats have more of a challenge. They gather their family on this platform, blow out the lantern and candles, then lower their mosquito net over them, tucking it in under the corners of the platform and hoping that no mosquitoes have already joined them inside. It’s hot and they melt inside each other’s sweat, but they are together and are happy. They tell jokes and laugh. They all are happy to be alive and are saying their evening prayers, one by one.
They fear malaria and had 1 child die from it less than a month ago. Their baby is buried only a few meters from where they sleep. They are cramped together and tonight’s humidity is over 90%. They lie their together, blending each other’s sweat, body to body. They finish their prayers and drift together into beautiful and restful sleep, cramped but papa snores loud. They are at peace resting in a deep sleep, together.
They will share the same infections, the same sicknesses, the same red dirt, the same odors and will get peaceful sleep, knowing that they must get up in less than 7 hours and refill their water jugs, which means the usual 2 mile walk for water that will make them sick. Once they return and the blistering sun and humidity is at its peak, they will then go to their garden and dig some potatoes, pick some beans and a few ears of corn and then stirring up the never ending fire for boiling food and cooking. Never mind the bugs on the corn, they are part of the protein. They will cook their one meal for the day, realize that night comes quickly on the equator, then start this process all over again. This is their routine. This was their Monday night and they also look forward to the weekend where their routine is broken by attending a four-hour church service.
This family is now sleeping under a net because of a vision that started just over a year ago. One step. One action. One article by a journalist that understood this injustice. One live saved. One person that cared. And the ripple in the stagnant pond has now become a monster tsunami! We can change the world, and it starts with one person at a time.
Think of your problems.
Think Humanity.

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