Friday, September 17, 2010


One Room
Recent news has revealed an increasing number of our U.S. citizens are slipping into poverty.   I find myself troubled by the disparity in the distribution of wealth.   The working poor pay their dues with the sweat of their brow and still cannot be sufficiently rewarded to maintain even the basic needs of food shelter and health care.   To me this is a real tragedy for everyone.   I fear that the U.S. may not be eventually immune from degenerating into a third world status where there are only the very wealthy and the very poor.  And in such a society the haves are not very secure because they have to live in a gated and secure compound to protect what they have.

Last night the speakers at our church supper informed us of their mission work in Nicaragua.   They participated with an agency to bring basic health care to the interior people of that nation.   The people they were helping were desperate for basic medical and dental care.   And a simple latrine was a modern facility for them.  Most of their homes were one room hovels.   The mission folks had the luxury of staying in one home that had two rooms.  A kitchen and a sitting/sleeping room.   I am not suggesting U.S. poverty conditions are in any way similar but we do have stark differences between our millionaire class and the working poor.  

In 2001 my wife and I joined a mission trip to Guatemala.   We had a first hand look at what it was to  live in a country with virtually no middle class.   Guatemala City is divided into sectors.   One sector is as modern, beautiful and fully functional as the best parts of U.S. cities.   We stayed in a different sector.    We had some reasonably comfortable quarters within a somewhat poorer section of town.  However, what little we enjoyed had to be protected by a razor wired wall patrolled at night by an armed guard.   When only a few have something a bunker condition thrives and one becomes a prisoner of poverty of freedom.

Gated Mansion
So, I return to my troubled thoughts about the disparity of the distribution of wealth both in the U.S. and in the world.   Perhaps the least we can do is to support the local food pantry and find other venues to help those who are in need.

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