Friday, December 5, 2008


What is need?
There are different types of needs. I could convince myself that I "need" a new Jaguar, but I don't suppose that I really "need" it. However, where is that preverbal line? Ok, maybe I don't need a Jaguar, but how about a new Honda or at least a Hyundai? Or maybe I don't actually need a new car. How about a vehicle that is Two years old? Five years old? Ten years old? Well, if I get one that is too old, it may not be safe or I might end up paying more in repairs, so I should go ahead get a loan and buy a newer vehicle and so on and so forth. Another question is “do I really "NEED" a car at all, or is it simply a convenience?” We live in a society where many assume that it is a right and a necessity to have at least one vehicle. In many countries, it is most certainly a convenience and a luxury to own a vehicle, and in most cases, it is surely not a new Lexus.
“I don't live in a country like that” you say. “How does this pertain to me?” I understand that point of view. All I am asking is that we look at the things we call needs. Life is much different in a large percentage of the world. Most of us have our primary needs taken care of and a large portion of our wants.
This country is full of opportunities which are available to Everyone. Many of America’s greatest contributors started out with no education and no wealth backing them up. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Keller to name a few. The point I am trying to make is that we live in an abundant land where every convenience and opportunity is available to those who pursue them. Compared to third world countries, even the homeless people have it pretty good; there are soup kitchens, shelters, churches and charitable people to turn to. Most poor nations do not have this kind of assistance and if there is, it is far and few in-between. We are all one. I truly believe that what affects others also has an effect on us.
The United States has an abundance of food and too much of it is wasted. “Families alone throw away around one third of the food they buy. It is estimated that 27 percent of the food available for consumption ends up in the landfill, it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias, and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.” “An estimated 923 million people in the world go hungry.” WHAT?
Yes, that’s right. 923 Million people yearly. “In developing countries nearly 16 million children die every year from preventable and treatable causes. Sixty percent of these deaths are from hunger and malnutrition.” Not my responsibility? Not my problem?
I don’t think so. Even right here in America, the richest nation on earth, “11.7 million children live in households where people have to skip meals or eat less to make ends meet. That means one in ten households in the U.S. are living with hunger or are at risk of hunger.” I’d say that there is an undeniable, legitimate NEED that is not being provided. “We have the means. The financial costs to end hunger are relatively slight. The United Nations Development Program estimates that the basic health and nutrition needs of the world's poorest people could be met for an additional $13 billion a year. Animal lovers in the United States and Europe spend more than that on pet food each year.” So, what is Need?

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