Chapter 3: Eyes Glued Shut
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Sarah Groves
I think I’ve lived my entire life with my eyes glued shut. Not intentionally. But perhaps out of fear of getting involved, or allowing myself to become moved so deeply emotionally that I would not be able to remove myself from the situation. I am guilty of turning the channel, looking the other way and filling my life with so many distractions that I never have to face reality. My eyes need a good flushing so that I can once again see what He desires me to see.
In Chapter 3, we meet Rani. Rani was from a poor family in India. Her parents struggled to provide the most basic of needs. Approached by a relative who offered to provide Rani with an education, her parents agreed. But the day Rani left her home was one of the last days her parents saw her. Rani was sold into slavery and mistreated and abused until she was sold again. But this time, she was sold into adoption to a woman who brought Rani home to America.
Today, Rani, as founder of The Troni Foundation, is determined to save other children from the life she endured. The foundation focuses on anti-trafficking eduction, policy change and restoration for trafficking survivors. Every year, 1.2 million children are trafficked, and human trafficking has become the second largest source of illegal income worldwide, exceeded only by drug trafficking.
Noel shares that she knew about slavery and trafficking before she met Rani. But after she met her, it became real and personal. Noel saw her and she saw the need.
This statement strikes a chord in my heart. Am I taking the time to stop, to listen, to see what is going on in the world? Sadly, I admit that most of the time I turn my head and shut my eyes, and my heart, as the task appears overwhelming. How can one person with so little influence change the world?
I am realizing that changing the world is God’s Job. My job is to allow Him to open my eyes to see, to truly see, and to partner with Him to change the world!
Chapter 4: The Meaning of Enough
Once posed with the question, “What would be the reward for the person who knew the meaning of enough?”
“If we really understood the meaning of enough, we would choose to live differently. We would use our resources to help more people instead of buying more things for ourselves. We would be satisfied with what we have instead of always wanting more. We would lead a very different life.”
Here are some shocking statistics:
- You need about $2,140 to your name (assets minus debts) to be counted among the wealthiest 50 percent of the world.
- Worldwide, 1 out of every 2 children lives in the most desperate poverty conditions.
- Over 925 million people worldwide suffer from malnutrition.
- The world’s poorest 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.
Noel shares about visiting a dump in Guatemala where desperate children and families come searching for food. When they can’t find food, they look for broken pieces of glass to fill a bag which they can sell for a quarter. Thankfully, World Help has been able to set up a feeding center at the dump each week to provide food for the families and children who live nearby. The are fed a nutritious meal — one which costs less than $1 a day.
“One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, how big my house was, or what kind of car I drove. But the world may be a little better, because I was important in the life of a child.” – Forest Witcraft
How does one define poverty? We tend to define needs by things we want, not by things we need just to survive. We feel “poor” when we cannot afford everything we desire. I have struggled with the feeling of poverty in my own life. After losing our home due to years of unemployment, having to sell cars and other items just to make ends meat, I felt poor, hopeless, as if I didn’t have enough. Shame on me. True poverty has never come near my door, and most likely never will. Absolute poverty is a “condition characterized by sever deprivation of human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.”
Noel shares the story of the yellow purse.
There was a woman who just had to have a new purse. A yellow purse. Even though it was far more expensive than she wanted to pay, she convinced herself that she had to have it, purchased it, and brought it home. A few months went by and she realized she had not ever carried the yellow purse. It was actually too big and the shade didn’t really match anything she owned. It ended up sitting on a shelf in her closet.
The yellow purse became a symbol for her of all that she had and all that she did not need.
I am realizing that even in my loss, I have enough.
Noel finally answers the question: “What would the reward be for the person who knows the meaning of enough?” She says, “I think the person who knows the meaning of enough is rewarded by the feeling you get when you finally ask a new question: “Is that all it takes to make a difference?”
This post is part of the book study for Noel Yeatts book, Awake: Doing A World Of Good One Person At A Time. I would love to have you join in the discussion, even if you haven’t read the book. Leave your comments and let’s discuss.