[anzac] HOW the REST of the WORLD LIVES

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 11:55:29 -0500
NOTE:  Millions of our Christian brothers and sisters around the
world live in the kind of poverty described below. This article helps
us come to grips with what these Third World believers face every
day. The basic question is this:- "What would we have to abandon
if we were to adopt the lifestyle of our 1.3 billion neighbours who
live in this kind of poverty? If we start with an average Western
household, what would we have to get rid of to get down to these
basic Third World conditions?"


HOW the REST of the WORLD LIVES
-by Robert L. Heilbroner.

‘We begin by invading the house of our imaginary American family
to strip it of its furniture. Everything goes: beds, chairs, tables,
television set, lamps. We will leave the family with a few old
blankets, a kitchen table, a wooden chair.

Along with the bureau go the clothes. Each member of the family
may keep in his ‘wardrobe’ his oldest suit or dress, or shirt or
blouse. We will permit a pair of shoes for the head of the family but
none for the wife or children.

We move to the kitchen. The appliances have already been taken
out, so we turn to the cupboards. The box of matches may stay, a
small bag of flour, some sugar and salt. A few mouldy potatoes,
already in the garbage can, must be hastily rescued, for they will
provide much of tonight’s meal. We will leave a handful of onions,
and a dish of dried beans. All the rest we take away: the meat, the
fresh vegetables, the canned foods, the crackers, the candy. Now
we have stripped the house: the bathroom has been dismantled,
the running water shut off, the electric wires taken out.

Next we take away the house. The family can move to the tool
shed. Communications must go next. No more newspapers,
magazines, books - not that they are missed, since we must take
away our family’s literacy as well.

Instead, in our shanty town we will allow one radio.  Now
Government services must go. No more postman, firemen. There
is a school, but it is three miles away and consists of two
classrooms. There are, of course, no hospitals or doctors nearby.
The nearest clinic is ten miles away and is tended by a midwife. It
can be reached by bicycle, provided that the family has a bicycle,
which is unlikely.

Finally, money. -We will allow our family a cash hoard of five
dollars. This will prevent our bread winner from experiencing the
tragedy of an Iranian peasant who went blind because he could not
raise the three dollars 94 which he mistakenly thought he needed
to receive admission to a hospital where he could have been cured.’

[-SOURCE:  "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger" by Ronald Sider -
an excellent book].