“Where are you going?” Clare asked as I was just about out the door.
“It’s Thursday love and I’m already running late.”
“Oh, how could I forget, its Thirsty Thursday. Say hi to Camp. Are you going to make it back for dinner or should I even ask?”
“If you want I’ll bring back a Pizza.”
“What’s that in your hand?”
“Oh, I just printed this off. Camp will love it. It’s at least good for a couple of pints.”
“Have fun.” Clare looked at with a mixture of pity and admiration: Pity for my foolishness and admiration for my enthusiasm. “Pizza sounds great.”
When I walked into ‘Grandmas’ Campbell, or Camp as everyone calls him, was already down half a pint.
“Look what I just printed off.” I handed Camp the printout and he scanned it in short order. He was ready with his response by the time my pint arrived. Perfect timing is everything.
He didn’t waste any time and pontificated: “In order to feel any pain one has to get hurt, and to feel any joy, happiness has to be present, but to feel overwhelmed one just has to turn on the computer these days.”
Here is what my printout said:
If we could compress the earth’s population into a global village of precisely 100 people, it would look like this:
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people, all from the USA would possess 59% of the village’s wealth
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death
1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a university education
1 would own a computer
In a modern and medieval village such as this the need for acceptance, tolerance, understanding and education becomes tantamount for the survival of the less fit and the whole village.
And then it goes on.
If you woke up this morning healthy
you are better off 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 meeting
without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death
you are more privileged than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator and 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 you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
and if you can read this message
you are ahead of over two billion people in the world
that cannot read at all.
“Well what do you think Camp? Pretty awesome, what?”
“And if you can drink several pints of beer in a pub and solve the problems of the world you surely are better off than anybody else,” Camp pointed out, raising his glass in a toast.
“Amen,” I said.