It's easy to forget in our day to day lives, that people elsewhere are dying of hunger. It's easy to forget when we have enough in our cupboards, that cupboards in other kitchens are bare. It's easy to take for granted the warm bed we slept in last night, hot shower we had this morning, the fresh cup of coffee, the relative safety of our homes.
When I stop and think about everything I take for granted in a day, everything I believe I'm "entitled" to, it's mind blowing. Things I don't think twice about (ibuprofen in the medicine cabinet, shoes on the closet floor, blankets if I'm cold, a fan when I'm too hot). These are things that I feel are a necessity (ok, I do realize and freely admit I have too many pairs of shoes on the closet floor), are things that people in other countries may have never had. Never. Had.
I am reading a great book which I'll tell you about later. The author, who worked for a summer in India with Mother Theresa, one of my heroes, spent time with the sick and dying, the poorest of the poor. And what he took from the experience was how lucky and fortunate he was to be there. Not because he realized all the stuff he had back home and felt grateful for it, but because the experience changed him. The sick and dying and people with leprosy gave him more than he had ever thought was possible.
One of my dreams has always been to do mission work. When I was young I wanted to go to Romania and work in an orphanage. I still do.
But what's the long-term solution? My volunteering for three weeks or three months will help, but it won't change anything really, in the long-term. What will? Donating money? Starting a new non-profit? Working with an existing non-profit? Selling all my possessions and giving money to a charity?
I don't know the answer. Do you?