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Intentionally looking to seek others needs

December 5, 2008

I have heard a lot about Advent Conspiracy (http://adventconspiracy.org) this year, and each time I do it cause me to stop and think about my situation and how I need to work to make sure I remember those who walk a very different life. For example:

  • Our world has about 6.5 billion people.
  • Over 1 billion of those people do not have clean drinking water. 
  • 2 million people (90% are children) die each year due to water borne illnesses.
  • That equals about one child every 15 seconds.
  • Approximately every 6 seconds a child dies of hunger.

I have to work every day to remember that my daily life drastically puts me out of proportion with others that are less fortunate. I have a roof over my head, food in my house, running water, heat, clothes, a bed, safety, possessions, electricity….and the list goes on. My income places me in the top 1% of the world (http://www.globalrichlist.com/). I work for one of the top 10 largest companies in the world. I serve as part of the largest account for my company, servicing the largest software company in the world, started by the 3rd richest man in the world. It would be so easy to look at all I have and all that those around me have, and to just desire more.

Instead, I choose to intentionally seek to keep others at the forefront of my mind. Here are few ideas that I have been working on:

  • Hang pictures over my desk of those that have less than I do, and post their names with them so they are not nameless faces.
  • Tithe faithfully to my church.
  • Give offerings and donations above my tithe at a rate that increases each year (I would love to reach a point of giving away more than I live on someday!)
  • Spend time regularly with others in my local community that have less than I do.
  • Challenge myself to give in some way every time I hear of a need. (Sometimes the best way I can give is through prayer or making a connection between two people. It doesn’t always cost me time or money.)
  • Regularly read things that keep me informed about the needs of others, especially those that are least like me (different country, culture, age, race, religion, political/social system, etc.).
  • Each year seek to learn about one significant humanitarian crisis or need and find a way to be involved in some way.
  • Give away things I have not used with a six month period.
  • Ask myself ever time before I spend any money if the purchase is something I should do. The less I spend the more I have to give away.
  • Talk with others about needs around the world and in my local community.
  • Seek out relationships with others that challenge my views on giving, serving, sharing, listening, and receiving.
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