Do you feel rich? You likely don't. Few of us do, and especially in this recession, many of us are understandably worried about money. We're not sure how the bills will get paid. We're wondering when our husbands will find work, or better work. It's tough.
And I don't mean to diminish that. I just want to add some perspective. Here's something I read on the Sarcastic Christian blog that made me think:
If you make $25,000 per year (about $12.50/hr) you are in one of the top 10% richest people in the world!
If you make $35,000 per year, that puts in in the top 5%.
If you make $45,000 per year, you are in top 1.72% richest people in the world!
Wow. You probably think you're stretched, but most of us, reading this blog, are at least in the top 10% of the world, at least when it comes to family income.
Most people in the world wonder where their next meal is coming from. We worry about what takeout we might order tonight.
When I was in Kenya recently, one of the biggest delights was sitting with several Kenyan women just chatting as I taught them how to use knitting machines to start a micro business. (Here's my mother with two of our "students"). One woman, who had been rescued from the street when she was 10, and was now a married mom, asked me what we "plant" here in Canada. She wanted to know what crops my husband and I grow, because in Kenya, that's the main thing. Everyone grows something, and one's crops determine one's wealth. It's inconceivable that one wouldn't grow crops.
I explained the kind of crops that grow in my area of Ontario, without going into detail that the only crop I actually grow rather well is dandelions.
Another shocker from our first trip to Africa was how expensive sanitary pads are. They run about the same price as they do here, with the only difference being that there people only make about $1 a day. If you made $1 a day, could you afford pads? Probably not. And that's why many Third World girls and women miss a week of school and work every month because they literally have nothing to use.
One of my pet projects in Africa was showing the women how to sew sanitary pads out of rags (and fabric scraps from their sewing school). We got quite good at them!
They're just flannel on top, two layers of towel (or four layers of flannel) in the middle, and then fleece on the bottom. Here's another one:
Kind of cute, aren't they?
Here's a stack all cut out and ready to go on the sewing table at the orphanage. They just loved them (although everyone acknowledged they're a pain to wash). But women have been washing them for centuries, and they'll figure it out.
It's a little thing, sanitary pads. We take them for granted. But that just shows how rich we really are!
I know many of you are struggling with money right now. Remember, though, that we have been given so much here, and no matter how bad things get, God has still given us so many blessings. If you're burdened with worry today, think of these girls in Africa, so thrilled just from a little piece of flannel. We have much to be grateful for, and remember that this, too, shall pass.
Labels: Africa, saving, spending