Friday, February 1, 2008

Putting It In Perspective, part II

Anonymous said...
Please remember that there are many, many families right here in the states who do not have access to healthcare. families who would be bankrupt and lose their homes if they had to pay for the birth of another child.not everyone in our country is "spoiled."

I received the above response to Putting It In Perspective and thought I'd comment on it. In no way was my post meant to suggest that those who are struggling financially or otherwise in this country are nonetheless spoiled by virtue of being American. I know families truly do have hardships of all kinds and that require compassion and assistance.

However, my original intent was to highlight the hardship of those who do not even have the remotest expectation of acquiring things we see as necessary in our country. For instance, health care, as the commenter made reference to, is not an option for some, as there are no doctors, midwives, or medicines even available in their communities. So, in the American mindset, the thinking may go, "we can't have another baby because the doctor bill would crush us." Those in other places and times would not have this sort of thinking at all, as there is no doctor available in the first place. This is what I mean by putting it in perspective. Think tee-pee versus humblest of American homes -- dirt floor, no heating or cooling, extremely limited food and clothing options, health care that consists of gathered herbal remedies, etc. Now picture an impoverished American lifestyle, if all else is equal, the family would have a much higher standard of living than most of humanity could even imagine. The Bible says that the Abraham of the Old Testament was wealthy, yet he was nomadic and lived in a tent. Jesus was raised in a relative hut and born in a stable -- no hospital to pay for there.

God help us to open all of our eyes to this fact. We are called to be joyful and generous no matter what our circumstances. Sometimes it helps to do this if we look past the modern day lifestyle expectations we have developed.

Peace, Hope