My husband and I are in the process of trying to find and buy our first home.
We, who live in wealthy cultures, are burdened by the pressure to live a perfect life, to design every major life transition like a skilled architect, to decorate our lives with the shining scenes a film director would carefully craft. Fancy soundtracks and all. We are repeatedly reminded, via shows like “A Wedding Story” that what every girl thinks about from infancy is how her perfect white wedding will look from the elaborate princess dress to the exact flavor of her cake. Some of us (read: I do!) spend inordinate amounts of time figuring out every intricate detail of the paint colors of our someday home, the rugs we will walk across, and how we can fill our daily lives with “small” (read: grand) luxuries like extra deep bath tubs, beautiful bathroom tiles, plush beds piled with soft sheets and coziness. We dream of all we can collect and arrange and what it will say about who we are and how we like to live. I think about my future gardens, all the abundance and joy the bursts of color will bring to me as I gaze peacefully out the window with a cup of tea and a good book.
I wonder how many people living in this great country of dreams come true realize… we are kings? We are KINGS! We dream the dreams that others wouldn’t ever dare. And we are able to make many of these dreams come true.** We can educate ourselves, feed ourselves, get the health care we need, and have shelter. It is not just the meager basics of survival, either. We can design our lives the way we want them. We can choose careers we like, choose where we would like to live, choose our companions, friends, relatives, whether or not to become parents, whether to live a life of pursuit or leisure or both. We are SO FREE! But not just in the ways most people tend to think of when they hear the word “freedom.” This is not just about our military, our fancy weapons, our position as a superpower. This is about the every day privilege that so many of us take for granted, choosing instead to focus on the little disappointments and struggles.
Let’s frame our struggles a little differently for a moment. Let’s say that if we didn’t have to walk several miles for a bucket of water this morning, we are doing pretty well! And let’s be so amazingly grateful for that luxury! As we slowly add each of the additional luxuries back into our lives, grateful for each one, let’s come to the exciting and overwhelming opinion that we live lives of great abundance. From that abundance we can take a portion and apply it to the massive suffering of others in places where there is no water, no sanitation, no money, no education; where there are no resources. Let’s celebrate our joy by helping others create a sustainable means to help themselves.
Please help me with a project to help provide infrastructure to a small village in Ethiopia: Tuk’a. I have never been there, but I know they need us. And this is one small gesture of generosity that will have a tremendous, measurable, sustainable, joyous impact.
We need 99 for Tuk’a (plus me). For only $12/month we will raise this village out of poverty. And we will raise our own spirits knowing we lived on this earth for a purpose beyond our own perfect lives and high thread count sheets. We will have made an effort to reduce suffering in the world. There is no greater accomplishment. Thanks for your help!
**Please note that I am speaking of those of us who have resources in this country (the US) and do not mean to imply that we have no poor. I encourage people to help the poor no matter what country they hail from.