Saw this over at Taylor Lyall's blog and it really affected me.

This video comes at a time when I've been wrestling with my responsibility in this world I live in. I do feel that my inaction adds to the problem and that my comfortable life too often pretends everyone's life must be comfortable too. And though I do care, the life style I live says otherwise.

I often wonder why I was so lucky to be born in affluent America, why did I deserve that? Why do I get to make more in a day than most people make in a month? Why are my concerns more about wants, while so many struggle for needs? What am I supposed to do with this dilemma?



Ashley A said...

I have often struggled with this question also. I wouldn't go as far as the video goes... to say that i "ignore" the problems, because i am very well aware. However, i also understand how this world works. With the limited resources that i have i know the amount of difference i can make right now is slim. There are very few situations mentioned IN THAT VIDEO in which giving yourself and your time would be enough. In most those cases, something bigger is needed. $$$

So this is what i decided. I am in the situation i am in right now so that in the future i will be in a better position to help others. A CRNA is a fantastic job with many benefits, but in all honesty, if i had to pick any position in the medical field, that would not be my first choice. However, by choosing that career i will have many opportunities to accomplish what i could only dream of doing now. For example, I have always had ambitions and hopes of taking in abused children, creating a safe place for them where they can be loved and educated, giving them an environment to thrive in. Children happen to be my passion, and what i do with that passion is not clear yet, but im putting myself in a better position in order to pursue that "something" bigger.

Kev - You aren't an ignorant or selfish person. You know what's going on in the world, and i doubt you're the kind of person to dismiss it with an indifferent attitude. But maybe your place "to help" right now is through your kids. I have a feeling these next generations are critical in shaping a world heading in the wrong direction. You can give back more than you know by teaching your kids to be loving, compassionate, good decision makers, etc. until hopefully they can create a situation for themselves that puts them in a position to help. Take pride in the fact you don't use your television as a babysitter, you don't have to send them to daycare all day, you have a two parent relationship that is full of love and support. You are providing your children with all the tools to help make this world a better place when their time comes. Maybe after you're done raising them you will be able to help the world in a more obvious way... like the situations the video talks about.

Sorry, you know me, just rambling!

Taylor Lyall said...

Yeah man. I struggle with this all the time. Some tell me to be responsible with money, because life is hard without it. Then Jesus tells us to give up everything and follow him. I think it goes back to where Philippians 2 where it says "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Not everyone is called to sell everything they have and give it to the poor, but some are. We each have to come before God and ask what He wants us to do. Then we each are held accountable before God. So each person is different how they should respond to this.

I don't know you, but I could give suggestions. Instead of getting the HDTV, you could get a normal one and find a single mother to bless. You could take a modest vacation and donate the money you would have spent on something else.

I think we should budget our giving.

Yeah, you definitely have to be responsible for your family, but I'm sure there are things you can do. Mother Theresa said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." We can make a huge difference, if we all fed one hungry person.

This is all useless, unless we do this in Jesus' name. These people will no longer be hungry, but they will spend eternity apart from their Creator.

There goes more rambling, but hope that helps a bit.

Kevin Davis said...

Ashley - that's not rambling, it's blogging. There practically the same thing - we all ramble/blog.

But you're right that they didn't offer an solutions in the video, however it is a trailer for some film thing they are doing - so I assume more solutions will be offered with that. 2nd - I think you career path can definitely be used to change lives, even if it is just having the financial means to support kids - that is a cool dream.

And I know that I'm not selfish and that my main priority in life is raising the kidos, but I do feel like we get lulled to sleep in our comfortable lives here and while we live beyond our means others struggle just to live. I know I can't change the world, but if we all keep accepting that then we definitely won't. But my boys are most definitely mission #1 right now in my life - they are so fun.

Taylor - I get what you're sayin' - my struggle is that I have this growing discomfort with all the comfort of my American life.

The vacation idea is a good - I just need to come up with some practical things I can do and then do them.

Ryan Billings said...

From a planner perspective, it's a simple social engineering process of the last 50 years we are seeing. The affluent tend to isolate themselves from reality by moving farther from the problem (i.e. suburbs) where other like minded (and usually skin toned) devolve the situation by ignorance. If it doesn't directly affect you, why would you care?

Ashley's right, through the blessings we are given/earn we have to put ourselves in situations to understand reality and try to make it better. Obama did this, by foregoing a lucrative law career and submersing himself into reality - South-side Chicago. Jesus did it too.

Kevin, you've done it, with your missions trips to Peru. How much did that change your life? Imagine if we did it for a couple of years or a lifetime. Imagine if everyone took the time to do it. The world would be a different place fo sho.

Heather Nicole said...

how could this not affect you or me...

There are things that you can do though.

And the number one thing that comes to my mind is donating blood.

Every two seconds someone is in need of blood.

The gift of blood is the gift of LIFE for someone.

I know this because I have a medically fragile child in my family. (You can find Gavin's link on my page.)

Of course this is just one example of how you can help someone in need. There are many many other ways to help someone in need or to help save our world.

Ashley A has the right idea!

sharkiepatronus said...

One day I was stopped outside of a store by a man looking for some money so he could buy food. I am deeply ashamed to admit that I made some excuse about not having any cash and ran to my car, as if his poverty was contagious.

I am forever haunted by the look in that man's eyes. It was utter desperation and in my selfishness I turned him away.

As I drove away, I knew I was utterly and totally in the wrong.
I wish I could say that I went back that day, but I can't.
On the list of my life's regrets, not helping that man is pretty high.

The video points out that we MUST do something even if it is very little. My pastor likes to tell some story about a little boy throwing starfish back into the sea, and I really don't remeber the whole thing, but it has to do with how the little boy can't save all of them, but as he picks up the star fish he points out that he made a difference to that one starfish.

mike bellanti said...

I often struggle with the same thing. So I try to do my little part like support Latin America Child Care kids, sometimes it does not fee like enough though.

allie said...

I can SO relate, Kevin: specially living in S. Africa as I do.
Here its so in our faces - and complicated by the fact that there is so much crime and deception going on in the midst of the need, its impossible to know what is genuine.

One has got to guard one's heart all the time.

I do not think we are meant to feel guilty about the good things God has given us, but to maintain a right heart and a generous spirit.

But really hard to find the way forward in it all