I was browsing another blog this morning and ran across a link to an interesting photo-article (by Time Magazine) that showcased what families in different parts of the world eat and spend on that food in one week's time.
I noticed several things from the photos and brief descriptions.
1. The US was by no means the most expensive, but neither was it the least expensive.
2. The dollar is getting better!
3. I was amazed at the amounts of processed, take out and junk foods that we eat compared to other regions of the world.
4. I was even more amazed to notice American made processed foods all over the world..Ritz crackers in the middle east for one, and there were very few pictures without Coke!
5. The fact that the families with the least often looked the happiest.
6. More often than not the fathers had dour faces!
Another thing, and probably the most important thing I took away from the photo-journal, was that I believe (considering the timing of the article and the background of the liberal magazine) it was directed at our lifestyles as Americans, to make us feel guilty for our excess.
But should we feel guilty for the prosperity that we enjoy? I think not. And here's why.
We're one of the youngest nations (relatively) in the world; yet we're one of the most, if not, THE most prosperous nation. You know why? Because we have worked HARD. We have fought for everything we have; we have made huge advances in technology, industry and medicine that the rest of the world has benefited from and we come to the aid of anyone who needs it. I think we have no reason to feel ashamed for our capitalistic-consumer driven lifestyle. We've earned it and we continue to work hard in order to maintain it.
I believe every country has had the same ability to venture out and prosper...but we have succeeded-by the blood, sweat and tears of our citizens.
So am I going to feel guilty that I can spend $15 on a steak to eat tonight, while a family in India eats .30 cents worth of beans? No.
But because I'm an American, I'll gladly forfeit that $15 steak, make a $5 casserole and send a good portion of the money I would have spent to help my fellow man-kind. Because I'm an American. And that's what we do.