We Made the Top 10!

Well, actually that is bad news.  What I mean by the title is that Mozambique is in the top 10 poorest countries in the world.  We knew that it had been in years previous, but assumed that it was out of this particular unhappy list by now.  It was number one for a few years there.  Unfortunately, we are still in that list.  Poverty in Mozambique is something we are faced with every day, and something we dread returning to.  We feel so overwhelmed sometimes with it, and wonder how we can help without creating a dependence which is actually damaging.  If you’ve never read the book “When Helping Hurts”, please google it and get yourself a copy. It talks about the different kinds of poverty and how some of those can be addressed.

Did you know that those of us in the first world (USA and Europe) are the richest, healthiest people who have ever lived in the history of the whole world?  Our standard of living is the highest ever.  I guess that fact shouldn’t have come as such a shock to me when I read it in the above-mentioned book, but it was shocking.  To me, the life that I see around me in America is just normal.  I never understood that it was so different than anything that was going on in the rest of the world, the world that is now called “the majority world” instead of “the third world”.

Well, I won’t go on and on about poverty.  But do give some thought to what you can do in your life to reduce your pull on the world’s resources:  reduce what you buy, re-use items (including buying used), recycling and sorting your trash.  Eating less beef, buying a more fuel-efficient car, living in a smaller house, using less air-conditioning.  If every American strove to reduce their pull on the world’s resources and supported fair trade, I think we would see some differences in some ways.  There are bigger things that need to be done to change the rich/poor balance in the world, but I would like to see America have less of a drain on the world (we consume 40% of the world’s resources, last I heard). – C