With 7 billion people on the planet, imagine if each was ferociously hungry. Cannibalism might be the end result. In Africa, where there used to be 100,000 cell phones on the entire continent, the anticipated totals are now a billion. Every day, new cameras are introduced and new phones are introduced, and all of this in the middle of droughts on three continents – North America, Australia, and Asia. Crops are dropping in production because there is no water. Africa experiences famine all the time. New cars are de rigueur to many; having one last 15 to 20 years gets written up in the local news. I bought a new watch the other day, and the sales clerk was astounded that it was the first one I had boughten in 20 years. Are new food crops being developed to provide adequate nutrition? Are we changing the way we produce food, and what we raise, and what we eat? Politicians preach austerity, yet little compassion exists with the strongly fiscally conservative for the vast majority who have little to begin with. Globally, the middle class is being destroyed and the gap increases between the rich and poor – yet, revolutions are often based on want – a lack – and when the middle class goes, so go governments. Oh, and let’s not get started on birth control and population and the right-to-life movement . . .
I am not an eco-freak, but the world is definitely out of whack. I am part of that whole process – I want things. I want different foods, a new camera, some more paper, a new pen, a book to read, a place to go. The trash heaps are filled with discarded televisions, phones, couches, spoiled food. I don’t have to do without. I don’t give to charity very often. I don’t do much to aid the less fortunate in my community because my little personal time belongs to me, and no one else.
So what is this all about? It is to remind me of the dichotomy of want and need.
I have what I need, and a lot that I want but don’t need. And a great deal more of what I don’t want.