Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What on earth?

What on earth would happen if everyone ate the way that I do, threw away the food I throw away, and consumed what I consume? Would more or fewer people be able to overcome starvation and hunger because of my lifestyle?

What if everyone drove their cars the way I drive, using as much gas and oil, and leaving as much pollution behind? What if people followed my patterns of recycling, conserving water, gas, and other natural resources - would the rate of consumption on our planet continue to increase at its current rate or slow down a little?

What if mothers loved their children the way I love mine? Or cared for their spouses with the respect and honor I hold for Steve? Would marriages and motherhood thrive or die of neglect?

What if other people had my prejudices, fears, and doubts? What if other people spoke to each other the way I speak to them? If adults and children emulated my word choices, my attitude, my tone of voice, would conversations pop up more often or tend to die out more quickly?

What if everyone was as charitable with their money, their time, their personal giftedness, either sharing or hoarding in the same way that I do? Would charitable organizations, blood banks, children's hospitals, Christmas boxes, Easter baskets, and the stomachs of hungry children around the world be more filled or more empty?

If others carried the debts I carry and paid them off at the rate I pay mine off, how many people would fall into bankruptcy? How many people would be debt-free or headed in that direction?

If others showed similar amounts of loyalty to and concern for their friends, family members, neighbors, political leaders, and fellow travelers on this life journey as I do, what on earth would this earth look like?

If others acted out road rage, intolerance, back-biting, criticism, gossip, and insulting behaviors as I do, if other people extended kindness, grace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness as I do, what would be the atmosphere in my home, in my neighborhood, in my city, in my nation, and in my world?

And now, having thought about all these things, having asked myself all these questions, what am I going to do about the answers? What am I willing to change, what am I willing to sacrifice (one of the nastiest words in the English language) in order to make a change for the better?

What on earth am I willing to do?

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