It’s not enough. At this time of the year, it’s not enough to say that we are “grateful.”
Each year, Thanksgiving comes and goes, and we do our moral and civic duty by spending time with family, giving thanks for our blessings, and indulging ourselves in the consumption of turkey, dressing, and all the fixings. These are not bad things; in fact they are good, enjoyable, and expected during this season. But those things are not enough…
Consider the following:
As Americans, we are one of the wealthiest nations on earth. Many of us make more money in one week than many of our global neighbors make in a year. If your family income is $10,000 per year, you are wealthier than 84% of the world. If it’s $50,000 or more per year, you make more than 99% of the world.
Globally, 1 in 7 people are chronically hungry with little or no access to education. If you have clean water, sufficient food, clothes, a roof over your head, access to medicine, a mode of transportation, and the ability to read a book, then, relative to billions of people in the world, you are considered to be rich.
In my state, 1 in 6 people are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. 1 in 4 children are part of the free and reduced lunch program, while 900,000 people and 300,000 children live in poverty.
In my town, we have countless homeless people living behind a well-known grocery store. We have untold numbers of children who are at risk because their parents have neglected or abandoned them on multiple levels. We have young people searching for meaning with little or no supervision. We have gangs trying to find value by invoking violence and chaos.
This is not a black, white, Hispanic, or Asian problem. This is an apathy problem.
It’s not enough to just be glad we are “haves” and not the “have-nots.” It’s time that we commit to invest our time, energy, and resources by investing in those who desperately need our help.
Moreover, the old argument that they don’t deserve help just doesn’t hold true. Not one of us deserves the blessings that we have been given.
It’s time for leaders to demonstrate their generosity. Show your gratitude this Thanksgiving season by giving to someone else. Choose to do more than simply say you are grateful, and you will make a difference.