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Thoughts worth pondering

February 11, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

If we could at this very moment shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, but maintain the existing human ratios, it would look like this:

• 57 Asians

• 21 Europeans

• 14 North and South Americans

• 8 Africans

Of those people 70 would be be people of color, and 30 would be white. Seventy would be of religions other than Christianity. Seventy would also be unable to read, and half of them would be malnourished. Eighty would live in substandard housing and only 1 person would be a university graduate.

Fifty percent of the entire world’s wealth would be in the hands of 6 people (all citizens of the United States).

Certainly food for thought.

Many times as citizens living in the United States, we forget how fortunate we are to live in the “richest” country in the world.

Many, especially people who have come to the US from other countries, say the US is the “best country in the world.”

It is the richest in terms of goods, services and just plain freedoms and rights.

Many of us take those “riches” and rights for granted – many times it’s relative in what we experience and know.

Many of us have not experienced the substandard conditions, etc. that others in other parts of the world experience and live from day to day.

If we have experienced it, it may just have been for a short stint of time with the knowledge that we will return to our “world” as we know it.

We each live in our own little part of the world and forget sometimes about the bigger whole.

We may hear, read or watch news pertaining to national and international information, but if one does not “live” or experience it firsthand, it is hard to fully realize it.

Now does that mean we don’t have problems or issues to deal within our country? Certainly not. But many times, many of us forget about what we do have and the opportunities that abound us in this nation.

We do need to step back at times and acknowledge those blessings and opportunities we have and to open our minds to the realizations that there are many, many people in this world who live differently than each of us in terms of living conditions, job opportunities, educational opportunities and experiences, religious affiliations, etc.

Our world is made up of people of various races, religions, social/economic backgrounds.

With all of these differences, we are all a “village of people” who want the same for ourselves and for our families, including our children. We just don’t all have the same means to those opportunities.

So, as I read this, it again made me realize how many blessings and opportunities I have, but it also again reminded me that we do live in a diverse world, and we need to embrace those differences.

But we need to also remember that among all of the diversity and differences, there are many likenesses as well.

That “embracing” may include a “hello” to your neighbor; helping out someone you may not even know; teaching your children to accept differences and befriend others; visiting a nursing home; participating in a mission trip.

The opportunities to be a good neighbor to others are endless, we just have to take them and act upon them.