Anyone that knows me, know that even when I have a frustrating day, I typically chalk it up to what I call "high class problems."

What I mean to say is this — what we in America, or frankly any developed country, have are not genuine "problems," but most typically "inconveniences." Sometimes they are even "major (life) inconveniences."  In short, whatever is going on with us, …we are (relatively speaking) blessed beyond measure!

If you are living in South Africa… you are dealing with almost a quarter of the adult population at risk for HIV/AIDS; or Irag, where you are literally ducking bullets, and fighting for basic liberty on a daily basis; or Haiti, where unfortunately it is just plain bad (Want drinking water? Unfortunately you better make sure it is bottled, and imported! I am not kidding…). These are problems my friends. What we deal with are, on balance, "high class problems." Consider yourself LUCKY TO HAVE THE PROBLEMS YOU HAVE!

A friend of mine, Shelley Freeman, regional president for Wells Fargo, inspired me one day while giving me a tour of the banking operation she runs (which is basically all or most of Southern California for Wells Fargo! Note to self: Thank you Shelley and Wells for the decade long support of my movement with Operation HOPE, and the $175,000 grant for 2005! Okay, …back to the point; sorry). On the wall of one of the training rooms for bank employees, in life-size print, was this incredibly sobering message — and it is called "A Village of 100."

A Village of 100

If we could create a village of 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.

There would be:
57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south.
8 Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be nonwhite
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth, and all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death
1 would be near birth
1 (yes, one 1) would have a college education, and 1 (yes one 1) would own a computer.

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

The following also is something to ponder…

* If you wake up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. 

* If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.   

* If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death… you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.   

* If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep…you are richer than 75% of this world.          

* If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace…you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.          

* If your parents are still alive and still married… you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.      

* If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing — in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion in the world who cannot read at all.


Thanks Shelley. And now, let’s get on with appreciating every single day of our lives; even the frustrating ones.

Onward, with HOPE

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