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While We Fill Our Boxes with Shiny Golden Treasures

This list reminds me to stop my prissy bitching, to remember the world owes me nothing, to appreciate America, to thank the pharmacist for the pills that keep me breathing, to shake my head at the idea that we’re spending $300 to clean our dog’s teeth (I love you, Maddy, I truly do):

5: Number of earths we’d need if everyone in the world had the same standard of living as Americans [1]
13.8: Percent of girls who complete primary school in Malawi [2]
49: The life expectancy in Chad [3]
50: Number of American dollars required to buy a slave in Sudan in 1999 [4]
58: Number of countries where polygamy is legal [5]
27: Percent of Indian households that own a refrigerator [6]
250: Human rights activists and lawyers “rounded up” by authorities in 2015 in China [7]
1,000: Estimated number of homeless in Dayton, Ohio, and Montgomery County at any time [8]
1,000: Babies born with HIV every day around the world [9]
21,000: People who starve to death every day [10]
1,000,000: People who die of tuberculosis annually [11]
5,600,000: Americans suffering from some form of paralysis [12]
10,000,000: Syrian refugees (in and outside of Syria) [13]
15,000,000: Women married before the age of 18 every year [14]
20,900,000: People enslaved around the world [15]
21,600,000: Women who experience an unsafe abortion worldwide each year (i.e. performed by people lacking the appropriate skills and/or medical equipment — nearly 50,000 of these women die each year) [16]
23,500,000:  Americans 12 or older who needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 [17]
32,000,000:  Americans who cannot read [18]
45,000,000: Americans on food stamps [19]
49,000,000: Americans who do not use the Internet [20]
60,000,000: Casualties during WWII [21]
100,000,000: Homeless around the world [22]
783,000,000: People who do not have access to clean water [23]
1,200,000,000: People who do not have electricity [24]
1,258,000,000: People worldwide who cannot read [25]
3,000,000,000: People who live on less than $2.50 per day [26]
4,200,000,000: People who do not have internet access [27]

I have most of my teeth. I have food in my stomach (all of it floating in a pool of fresh black coffee). I have eaten jelly donuts at Bill’s. I have a place to sleep. Better yet, I have a chair with a lever on its side the lets me recline, a laptop on which to write, an internet connection.

Einstein said there are only two ways to live your life:

1) As if nothing is a miracle.
2) As if everything is a miracle.

Here, where we fill our boxes with shiny golden treasures, it should be easier to see the miracles. But here, we often forget to look.

Fredrick Marion

Fredrick Marion

I like books that refuse to let you sleep at night. I like coffee, talking animals and hearing from readers. Sign up for my email newsletter, and I’ll send my latest blog posts to your inbox!

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