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  Do We Have it Good or What!

I know. There are definite ups and downs in the economy. There are ups and downs in different cultures, races, gender(s), and our different points of view offer contrast that doesn't always feel in sync with what we think life should be.  Well.... there might be an additional perspective or two to consider:

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, this is how our world would look:

There would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 would be Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
30 would be white
70 would be non-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 USA.
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 computer.

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, we realize the need for acceptance, understanding and education.

So 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 this world. 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 a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. If you can attend a worship meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can read this message you are more blessed than the over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.  Sometimes being reminded how life is in the rest of the world helps us remember how lucky we are!

"He who forgives ends the argument." -African proverb

"The road toward a more satisfying and meaningful life involves a 'recipe': make lists of things for which you're grateful in your life, practice random acts of kindness, forgive your enemies, notice life's small pleasures, take care of your health, practice positive thinking, and invest time and energy into friendships and family."

-- Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California at Riverside

"Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet. . . we have not had the ethical commitment to make it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers. Or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

Created 05/14/05 - 6/13/13
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