Why isn’t “enough” enough?
Every day, an estimated 20,864 people die from hunger-related causes in our world, according to statistics provided by The World Bank.
Some 80 million people, around 43% of America’s working-age adults, didn’t go to the doctor or access other medical services last year because of the cost, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey.
And while it is difficult to pinpoint exact numbers, a study of homelessness in 50 cities found that in virtually every city, the city’s officials estimated the numbers of homeless people greatly exceeded the number of emergency shelter and transitional housing spaces. And of the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are an estimated 640 million (1 in 3) without adequate shelter.
The average annual income for school teachers around the globe spans anywhere from a meager $10,604 in Egypt to $45,755 in Singapore (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
At the same time, in Limburg, Germany, Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst was busy renovating his lavish residence to the tune of $43 million dollars, an indulgence that has earned him the nickname “Bishop of Bling” and which also led to his suspension from his Bishop duties by Pope Francis. By the way, interestingly, the Vatican’s wealth has been valued to be between $10 billion and $15 billion.
On another note, just two years ago, people from around the world excitedly turned on their television sets in order to catch a privileged glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s extravagant $34 million royal wedding.
And let’s not forget to include in our observations the number of golf fans who continue to be mesmerized by Tiger Woods’ extraordinary ability to sweep the floor with his competitors, which earns him a cool $78 million a year.
In addition, we have billionaire timeshare mogul David Seigel, who is continuing to move forward with construction of what is being touted as the largest home in America, measuring a whopping 90,000 square feet and costing upwards of $65 million upon its completion.
I know, I know. Don’t judge. Love what is. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps. Suck it up. Everyone has the same opportunities and choices. Oh, and I almost forgot the best one of all: When life gives you lemons, made lemonade.
Well, those spiritual and motivational platitudes are easy to roll off the tongue, but I’m not so sure they are particularly helpful to someone whose last meal was yesterday or perhaps the day before or maybe even the day before that, nor are they soothing to the elementary school teacher who holds down an additional part-time job in order to pay her bills, nor are they useful to the homeless person who has been sleeping on the streets for a longer period of time than most of us could ever possibly imagine doing.
Does everyone truly have the same opportunities in our current system the way we have constructed it? Are we all afforded the same pool of choices from which to choose? As we all know, with money comes power. And with power comes the ability to be the rule-makers. And the end result is not surprising — those who get to make the rules tend to do so in a fashion that benefits them.
In a world with enough inherent resources to take care of the needs of all of humanity, why is there not enough to go around? How is it that “enough” is not actually enough?
I guess the answer to the “why” question may be easier to answer than the ensuing question: What can we do to change that? Surely, there must be something. Is there a way to account for and then distribute the planet’s natural commodities in a way that would more evenly benefit all human beings?
How far back do we have to unravel the current paradigm to begin rebuilding a system that works for more than just a few? What will it take to create a world where grotesquely huge houses and disturbingly overpaid athletes will be a thing of the past because they will no longer represent who we know ourselves to truly be?
When will “enough” actually demonstrate itself to be enough…for everybody?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)