Did you know that half of the world lives on less than $2.50 per day? Sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend these types of statistics – so with over 7 billion people in the world there are approximately 3.5 billion that are able to somehow survive on only $75 per month or less? Wow, and when I think about my cell phone bill…ugh!
I remember going to a Red Sox game last year, and I believe the cheapest and smallest beer was selling for around $8.00! And yet I witnessed young and old sloshing fistfuls of beer upon beer up and down the aisles, making their contribution to ensure that David Price will get every last penny of that $31 million salary. That’s not too bad when you only work 1 in every 5 days! The disparity between these scenarios is astounding. At $30 million per year, a professional athlete has to scrape by on only $82,192 per day, or $3,425 per hour for every hour of the day, which is $57 per minute, equal to $0.95 per second. It takes that athlete only 2.6 seconds to make $2.50, which again, is what half the world lives on per day!
Before you get caught up in my math, please don’t miss my point, because I haven’t made it yet. I don’t think pro athletes are bad people or that they’ve even done anything wrong. It isn’t as if someone else isn’t paying them these exorbitant salaries, and if someone can afford to pay them this much it makes you wonder how much the owner is really making, but that’s not the point either!
My point is this - while most of the world is poor, at least materialistically, I propose that the primary poverty is more spiritual and relational. How many people are there in the world who are unloved, unaccepted, have no family, or have been rejected? This applies even to those who are “financially secure”. There are children in who are neglected, who live in deplorable housing, and who do not receive the proper nutrition, upbringing, or education they need. There are also many elders who are being neglected, who are unloved, and who don’t receive a decent meal every day. Many have been abandoned by family, and it is heartbreaking. Poverty isn’t just financial.
My hope and prayer this month is for us to think of those among us, those we pass by every day, those who haven’t been loved or valued, those who need to be cared for, and those who simply need someone to show them that their lives matter. They do matter, we all matter, and we can make a difference in the lives of others. A simple warm greeting, a smile, a kind word.
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty, than the person who has nothing to eat.” -Mother Teresa