Wow. It is amazing what you can get for $2.91. Lucky for me, I had the money right there in my wallet and didn't have to give it much of a thought. But today, I gave it a thought.
You see, last night I read an article about Malaria in National Geographic. This disease, while extinct on our continent threatens half the world's populations. The statistics were asounding. The death rate is high. Children are most at risk.
Several attempts at prevention, cures, and vaccines were described. One prevention method that is quite effective is the use of insecticidal bed nets year round. The nets have been shown to cut child deaths by one third. Currently only 2% of young children in Africa use these nets. It appears that the cost discourages families. The cost is several dollars. Over 70% of African families survive on less than a dollar a day.
There are families in this world who can not afford several dollars to purchase a net that might save their child's life.
Now my point is not that spending money on fun things is bad. It is not to make myself or you feel guilty the next time you splurge. That is, in fact, the world we live in. My point is that I want to recognize the blessing of that world more often in my daily life.
There are just times in my life when I can lose perspective. I focus on the wrong things. I get caught up in what "little" I have. I begin to dwell on the things I want. I start to call them the things I need. I start to think that living within my means is unfair. I find myself feeling entitled to certain items. I begin to look around and want what "they" have.
This article was a healthy dose of perspecitve. I want to keep it with me. I want to continue to remember how good it is to have an extra $3 in your pocket to spend at Chic-fil-a.
(Facts in this blog entry were found in the July 2007 of the National Geographic Magazine. If the news on Malaria interests you, you can go here to see the articles that pertain to this topic.)