Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wealth, poverty, and guilt

I think often about the disparity between rich and poor in this world. Specifically, I am more and more aware that I fall into the "rich" category, especially compared to the vast majority of people in the world. I read a lot about social justice (and injustice) and how the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, and I end up feeling guilty. I live very comfortably, and yet there are countless people who - through no fault of their own - cannot even feed, clothe, house, or educate their families. We do make regular donations to reputable charitable organizations, but this in itself doesn't seem like "enough."

I guess I am having "survivor" guilt. I am no more "worthy" than those who are suffering, and dying, merely because they are caught up in circumstances beyond their control. I happened to be born into relative privilege, and on top of that I've been "lucky" (or "blessed") in a lot of other ways. When I read books like The End of Poverty (by Sachs) or The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, I feel both hopeful and impatient. I'm glad there are people out there who are really making a difference; yet I wish the difference were more tangible.

1 comment:

Mommavia said...

"yet I wish the difference were more tangible"

Me too.