Saturday, August 15, 2009


by Ruth

I have been thinking lately about how rich we are. I heard recently that if you make $25,000 a year, you are in the top 5% of the world’s population (If you make $50,000, you jump up to the top 1%). We don’t make that much money. In fact, in America we would be considered below the poverty line, which is ridiculous because we are rich.

Admittedly, I don’t think that much about being rich. I’m much more likely to notice all the things we don’t have. I get jealous of people who have houses and nice furniture and new clothes. I usually compare myself to that other 5% and feel sorry for myself.

I have been thinking about richness especially in light of all the economic struggles here. A lot of people have lost their jobs, have lower salaries, or have lost their homes. And yet, most of them aren’t living on the street. Most of them still have food to eat and clothes to wear and cars to drive. Most of them are still rich.

I often feel poorer when I come back to America and remember the things I don’t have. Recently I have been thinking more about everything I do have.

I will steal an idea from a friend in Honduras, Will Meeks, who recently made a list of the things that make him feel rich. These are a few of my own:

-Going to McDonalds in China
-Driving a car
-Owning a computer
-Flying instead of taking 30 hour train rides
-Not wearing the same clothes every day (unless I want to… )
-Eating meat
-Having heat and (sometimes) A/C
-Drinking purified water
-Owning a whole collection of books
-Having belongings that are stored away
-A savings account
-Buying imported food in China
-Having more than a car full of belongings
-Being able to give money away without real sacrifice
-Rugs, throw pillows, and items that are just for decoration
-Eating out
-Being able to travel back and forth to America


Nate and Molly said...

very well expressed! (and convicting!)

Candy said...

I've been thinking about being rich ever since Will posted that note, too. We are so blessed and have so much that I have no excuse for not being in a continual state of thankfulness. I'm especially grateful that you can travel back and forth to America!

sarita said...

Thanks for posting this Ruth. It totally helped me see how out of whack my priorities get. I hope you and Kevin are doing well! Blessings!

...adam said...

great perspective, thanks for the reminder.

and a good thing for me to be thinking about...