It would be impossible to travel to somewhere like Tanzania and ignore the immense poverty. And it would be equally impossible to consider the disparity between our wealth in the states, and this poverty. It struck me between the eyes like a baseball thrown at 100 miles an hour (is that fast? I don’t even know–I find baseball akin to watching grass grow–TOO SLOW FOR ME.)
Many of the people we met who were in charge, told us that they could use help. It wasn’t said in a hopeless way, but more with dignity, that they could use assistance in the form of ideas, goods, or money. There was a pride, but also a willingness to make clear that prosperity was not abundant.
I am sort of careless with money. I’m not proud of it. I am also pretty generous. I would literally like to buy the world a coke. I get great joy from treating someone. I am quite sure I enjoy it more than the treat-ee. In my book, giving really is better than receiving (unless of course, it’s jewelry, then all bets are off–winky smiley face here).
Anyway, I think if anything could change my spending habits, it might be this trip. To really consider what I spend on things that I absolutely don’t need (but think I need), that could be spent on actually bettering a life in a tangible and long-lasting way has stopped me in my tracks.
I’ve got some thinking to do.