I am not about to pretend that I know economics or how big businesses operate because I don’t. Occupy Wall Street has been going on for some time now and I’m still wrapping my mind around what it’s really about. At first I think it had something to do with taxation. Then it became something about rich people being lame and evil. And now I think it’s simply a slaughtering lamb for jokes everywhere about anything (i.e. “Occupy Autzen” or “Occupy the Church”).
Why am I so behind the times in catching up on something that appears to be history in the making? For one thing, I’ve been working for the past 42 days. For another, I’m finding it sadly unlikely that any protest will really have any impact on keeping the rich from getting richer or the poor, poorer. Don’t get me wrong; I believe the protesters are rather optimistic about the whole thing. But I also believe that those who possess great wealth rarely hold it with a loose grip.
What’s happening in New York City is really a big deal that more Americans – especially people my age – ought to pay close attention to. If something changes because of the protesters, it will have ripple effects that will reach our working-class shores. Our well being – or lack thereof – could improve or worsen depending on what lawmakers and big-business owners decide to do.
But with as much as I’d like to root for my fellow underdogs in their cause against the rich and powerful, I can’t ignore one glaring fact: I have never worried about a roof being over my head, food being on my table, clothes being on my body, or even laying my head down to rest at night knowing no militia will kill me in my sleep.
Although I am among the 99% in my home country, I’m among the richest 1% of the world. This is something I must never overlook.
Most of my inspiration to write about this comes from this blog post. Please take the time to read it at some point. It’s really eye-opening stuff. But a lot of my inspiration is due to the fact that, compared to what many go through throughout the world, I am filthy rich. God has blessed me with two jobs, a car to drive, clothes to wear (for weeks without wearing the same thing twice), a phone to communicate with my family all over the world, and nearly 19 years of education. I am blessed beyond belief.
I mentioned a video I watched several weeks back with this African kid named Sunday. This child goes to school every single day and gets sent home every single day because he doesn’t have the school uniform. He can’t afford one. And yet he goes to school anyway – knowing full well that he will be sent right back home! Can you imagine what we might be capable of here in America if our attitudes were more like that of this poor African child?
I am not arguing against the Wall Street Movement and all those who support it. Something is devastatingly wrong in our American system and it needs to be changed. But I would be dishonoring my God if I didn’t pay attention to a few things going on in other countries. Jesus didn’t die and rise so that Americans may live; He died and rose so that anyone may live.
I cannot ask the richest 1% of my nation to share their wealth with me. Why? Because I have no need of it. As I’ve said; God has blessed me with more than enough. It’s my responsibility to manage it well. But what I might ask the richest 1% is if they’d consider sharing with those who do need it – those people like Sunday who only need a new set of clothes to attend school. Those people have a greater need for money than I do.