Rethinking Our Needs

This is the last post in my “Rethinking Christmas” series. So far, we’ve examined ways to rethink gifts, rethink our vision, and traditions. Now we are going to rethink our needs.

A fancy Christmas is seen as a need in our culture. So much that we have charities set up to guarantee this to all. Christmas is seen as a time to spend, spend, spend. Shopping is a highlight of the season. If you’re not spending, you’re not giving your family the Christmas that they need.

After all, your kids do need lots of toys, for their development. Women need lots of clothing, so that people don’t “make decisions about you,” because you wear the same outfit 2 weeks in a row. We all could use a little help getting the stuff we need, what with the car payments, cable bill, bills for multiple cell phones, Internet bill, etc.

But, before you hit the malls, consider this:

  • Worldwide, 1 in 4 people live on $1 or less a day.
  • Half of all children under five years of age in South Asia and one third of those in sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished.
  • Malnutrition is implicated in more than half of all child deaths worldwide – a proportion unmatched by any infectious disease since the Black Death
  • To satisfy the world’s sanitation and food requirements would cost only US$13 billion- what the people of the United States and the European Union spend on perfume each year.
  • The above stats came from this site.
  • The ancient Romans had better water quality than half the people alive now.
  • Half of the world’s hospitalizations are due to water-related disease.
  • Only 63% of the world’s population have access to improved sanitation.
  • The above stats came from this site.

So what is this? Am I trying to make you feel guilty? At Christmas time??!!

In a word, yes.

How many people could we help, with the money we spent building our wardrobes? Buying those lavish gifts? Buying that diamond that is “forever”? True, one person can’t save everyone, but one person CAN help.

Consider this: are we truly content when we are constantly told that we don’t have enough? Yet, when we consider how little so many people, worldwide, have to live on, even the poorest among us are truly blessed. Perhaps it is time to give thanks, from the heart, for what we DO have.

Something to think about this season…

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s