I have been thinking about “things” lately. “Things” as in material possessions that I own and that are currently sitting in storage at a rate of $160 per month, just waiting for me to pick them up and use them again. $160 a month is $1920 per year. We’ll come back that that number.
Did you ever read the Hunger Games or watch the movies? The Hunger Games talks a lot about the ‘rich’ people in the Capital with their silly hair and clothing. The Capital residents have tons of wealth and they spend it frivolously. Well, the people in the Districts think the Capital residents look ridiculous and spend frivolously because the District residents have next to nothing and are starving to death! The Capital residents buy new clothes, the latest electronics, fancy houses, etc. while the Districts are only allowed to work in awful conditions for next to no money. They have to provide for the needs of the Capital, you see. They Capital residents would take throw-up pills so they can keep eating until they tried all the food at the parties while the districts were fighting over the last grains of wheat.
Now, change The Capital with the USA and change The Districts with 3rd world countries. Who is spending a ton on new electronics, $20,000 health treatments a month (I’m looking at you Gwyneth), shiny cars, and fancy vacations. Most Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs to pay for it all. What kind of country are we building? Who are we trying to impress with our stuff? I can tell you that we aren’t impressing other countries in the world. China owns a lot of the USA and many, many, many other countries. Who buys the trillions in debt America has? Foreign countries! When the USA collapses, who do you think will come to our aid? Who will try to take us over? Ummm, probably the people who own us. Think about it! Do you want to be like China?!
Compare the obese Americans with too much money to the poor kids with protruding bellies because they lack food and nutrients. (I’m overweight myself, but I am just making the connection).
Quick story: When I was in Kenya, on the safari tour, I had the most excellent server. He would entertain us, serve us, answer questions, etc. He told me that he has to walk home about 50 kilometers (partially through a safari with wild beasts!) to get home on his few vacation days he has. His monthly wage is less than I make in a day and he could never dream of taking a trip to the US because it would cost him several years’ salary for the ticket. At the end of the trip, I tipped him the equivalent of about $30 and I was told it was way too much from our driver. I told him that I would normally spend about that for 1 meal at a normal restaurant at home (a nicer meal) and I got several meals and entertainment out of his services. I didn’t feel like it was too much, but now that I am thinking back, was that rude? I didn’t tip him any more than I would have in the States, but was I considered a ‘rich American’? I certainly wasn’t rich and I wasn’t trying to overstep my boundaries.
So, back to the storage payment of $1920 per year. What else can be done with that money instead of hosting all my ‘much needed’ stuff to fill my large 1 bedroom apartment? I mean, you have to have a large apartment filled with stuff to impress the (inexistent) people to come over. (Sarcasm font) I have a ton of kitchen supplies and I rarely cook! I have tons of books that I read once and stacked on a shelf. I could go on, but I won’t. I literally have a 10x10 storage unit filled with my stuff.
Could I use that money to fund missions overseas? Could I fund shelters for animals and homeless people? Could I go on mission trips and help people in other countries? Think about this, if you just donated the cost of the mission trip to a charity in that country and you had not gone, how far would that $2,000-$4,000 carry them in their mission? Why don’t we donate that money? Because we want the ‘experience’ of helping the poor and to ‘help them be live and be better’ or ‘show our kids how fortunate they are’. What is better? Fortunate to get the newest IPhone or Xbox? Is better being happy with what you have, your necessities (hopefully) or is it filled with consumer debt from trying to keep up with the Jones’.
As Christians, we want to show people the love of Christ, but are we just showing the love of money and material possessions? Christ was a King that became poor for his people. He tells us to give our money away to the children and the widows. Jesus tells us that it is difficult for a rich man to enter Heaven. Do you think it is difficult for the people that have lower incomes from you to relate to you? I can’t relate to millionaires and how they spend money, I can only imagine that is how other countries see us. You show up with your Kendra Scott earrings and your Banana Republic jeans, (I’m guilty of it too) and expect them to relate to you when your outfit might cost more than what they make all year. How humble can you be?
That’s all my thoughts just rambled together. I really wasn’t planning on making this a Christian themed post, it just sort of came out that way towards the end.
Enough about my thoughts, what do you think?