At times I come to realize a taste of the true privilege of owning a vehicle - just coming home in the evening and leaving it down there in the lot - this monster of mechanics and metal that is worth over a thousand dollars (I think), and yet is fully mine, and gets me safely where I want to go. And when I come down in the morning, it's right there. I turn a key, get inside, and can go anywhere I want to. Well, I go to work. But theoretically, ya know.
And yet how quick I am to complain that "Oh, it's cold! The heater takes so long to warm up! Ugh, I have to spend two minutes of my life scraping ice off the windshield! Sheesh, my rear window is so dirty - why can't I have a functioning rear windshield wiper?" I'm such a spoiled brat. Really. And I should be able to realize this more often than just when a major disaster hits an impoverished country.
I am incredibly blessed. And too often I find it enough to just say that and be glad with it, but really, what's the point of a blessing if not to pass it along? Does God bless me because he just wants me to have a sheltered, quiet life, without too much danger, because I'm somehow more special than the people who don't live a life of such high privilege? No!
I would like to be able to do more than just pray and donate some cash - but I'm sure many others would too. I would really like to keep my heart open for more opportunities after this summer wraps up. I'm praying that my sponsored girls in Haiti are okay.
I remember reading a book called "Where we stand: class matters" in philosophy class, and the author talked about the ways people can rationalize not giving to the poor. Because, believe it or not, even people that you see as "rich" have people that they consider even richer than themselves. And the author contended that as long as we have people who we think make us "inferior" financially, we don't feel compelled to give much, because we feel that they should be doing it.
Comparison for the sake of rationalization, or shirking of responsibilities, is a bad thing. But comparison is kinda necessary sometimes, when I find myself getting too content with the wonderful life that I have.