Friday, January 20, 2012

Inequity


Every time I watch the show "House Hunters", I get this sick feeling, deep in my stomach.

Don't get me wrong, I still watch the show. I enjoy looking at cool houses and comparing all the different designs, prices, options, layouts, etc. Yes, I'm "that person" who will get in the car and go on a drive for the single purpose of looking at cool houses and daydreaming about what they might look like inside. If the front curtain is open, I might slow down so I can sneak a peek into the warmth and beauty of the cozy interior. Yes, I'll even snatch a flyer if a house is for sale, just out of curiosity.

However, a few days ago, in an attempt to express where that "sick" feeling comes from, Shawn and I created the following video by clipping together 2 different shows:



The feeling?
Despair over the utter inequity of our world.
Longing to share whatever we possibly can.
Frustration in knowing that it will never be so simple to just "even things out" and share our wealth with the poorest of the poor.
Desire to never reach a place that is so "high" that we would take for granted all the "things" that we have. Or even, God forbid, complain about them.

Every morning, I wake up with a roof over my head to keep me warm from the cold, or cool from the heat. I not only have this home to shelter me, but this home has soft carpets. This home has a big, plush, cushiony couch to sit on. This home has a super comfy bed with 2 blankets and a nice warm down comforter. This home has clean, fresh, untainted water that I can enjoy, drink, bathe in or even waste whenever I feel like it. This home has things hanging on the walls to make it prettier: pictures, painting, art. Things that serve no purpose at all other than something nice to look at. This home has not only "just enough" food to keep me alive, but above and beyond that - I have extra food to eat when I'm bored, when I'm full but wanting a yummy dessert, or just craving something. And if that's not enough? There are 2 grocery stores, 15 restaurants, and 5 coffee shops filled with things I "need", less than ONE MILE from my house - easy walking distance. But I don't need to walk anywhere - why would I when I have my nice little car to drive around in?

I am not:
Digging through the garbage dump to find rotten food to eat for my next meal, or to try to find a scrap of something that might be sold for a few cents.
Watching my precious children run around with filthy, cut, bleeding bare feet because I can't buy them shoes.
Sending my infant child away to live a life of scavenging through the dump because it would be a "better" life than what I would have had to offer him myself.

I am also not taking my "things" for granted.

12 comments:

Christi said...

YES. I should watch this every morning, because I forget that quickly. Hope you don't mind that I shared your blog on my fb page.

Elisha said...

I love this post. It is heartbreaking though. I just watched a documentary on PBS about a current update of conditions in Haiti and the reaction is the same. So many have so little.
Thank you for sharing this and making that video...it was great for my girls to see too.
(also feeling a little guilty that I was just complaining on my blog about our weather...but thank God that I have a roof over my head and a furnace that works!)

Eric 'n Leah said...

Mars, thanks for putting into words what I could not after watching the video you guys put together. Thanks for modeling a heart of compassion for others to me. I know it will make a difference in my interactions with people today....Eric

lori said...

Holy cow. You picked two very good opposing clips. So sad, yet so funny in the "oh my gosh - we're idiots" kind of way. Thanks for putting the work in; I too would like to share on fb, if you don't mind.

Mars said...

Lori - of course I don't mind. Go ahead and share it!

lori said...

One thing I can't get over is how the American family is trying so hard to grasp fulfillment, like all their dreams will come true if they can just use that 5th bedroom for toys. But sadly, their family members will be spread further apart in such a huge house and see each other even less than they do now. And gosh, all the extra stuff they'll accumulate to fill the house will just have to be maintained and looked after. Ugh!

I read a book a few months ago called "I Am Hutterite." The author describes moving to a huge farm house with lots of bedrooms; she and her several sisters, by habit, moved into one room to sleep, and that's the way they stayed. They didn't know any "better," didn't know what on earth they would use all the extra rooms for. My grandma and her four sisters all shared not only a room but a BED, lined up side by side! It wasn't that long ago in our own country that people lived with less.

Mars said...

Lori, it's interesting what you said about trying to grasp fulfillment. The video I almost used to contrast the Florida couple's house hunting with was just a simple video, no words, of some people and children in a small village somewhere in a "3rd world country". It just shows them smiling and being happy. Happy with what they have, which, by our standards is "nothing" - perhaps because the possibility of having "more" is removed, so the "longing for more" is also removed?

Mars said...

PS: I think I need to read that book!

Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet said...

Mars, this was great. I have never seen the show, but I do the same thing (looking at houses) all the time. The video wouldn't load so I'm gonna comment and then try it again. I might have to comment again.

(Also, this really isn't the post for it, but two nights ago, I dreamed that you basically kidnapped Bennett. Well, not really kidnapped. See, you had been his surrogate mother and actually gave birth to him, and then 18 months later you decided that you would be a better mom so you took him back. How weird is that? Haha. It was a real great dream. I have the best dreams though, I really do.)

Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet said...

Just watched the video. Damn. That comparison was shocking. Very well done, Marlene. Wow.

Mars said...

Oh you need to try again and watch it!

Um, yeah, didn't kidnap your little man. But don't give me any ideas - he's pretty stinking cute. Mwa ha ha ha...

Mars said...

Oops, commenting at the same time!
Thanks, it's really quite shocking, and for me convicting, to see them right up against each other like that, huh?