Privileged Living

Well, I want to thank everyone for hanging in there in spite of my not writing anything for several days. Life is finally beginning to slow down just a bit and I am starting to see light again at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it’s not a train!

Even though my family still lives basically pay check to pay check — we are one of the privileged class in the world. We both work. We and our children have new clothes, nice clothes, proper clothes for each season. We never wonder IF we will eat — just WHAT will we eat. WE have nice vehicles to travel in, or on as the case may be. We do not have to worry what the weather is going to be, because we have a dry, warm/cool comfortable home to live in with indoor plumbing, lights, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances and other luxuries.

And, I am privileged to own my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It is a luxury. Yes, it does save on gas, but it doesn’t pay for its self, and I don’t NEED it. I wanted it, I desired it, and I purchased it. And every chance I get, I ride it — for pleasure, for basic transportation, and just for the fun of it.

On Friday, I got the chance to take what I call a “Therapy Ride.” This is where I just get a map,

Blue Ridge Parkway Ride 09/2010

choose a general direction, look for back roads to and from that destination and head out with no agenda other than to try to get home before too late. This gives me a time to just be with myself, clear my mind (you can’t think too much on a motorcycle  or you will crash), and let my body unwind. It is as good as a therapy session with my psychologist/counselor. Yes, I have one of those; and I go see him from time to time to keep my sanity. If you spend your days living with people who are mostly in pain, you take part of that pain into your own life and it has a cumulative effect. It is wise, and healthful to have someone to share that with so that you can remain healthy.

(Route)

So I headed out of Senoia, GA on Highway 16 towards Griffin on to Jackson on to Monticello, to

Somewhere in the Jewell Community. What a wonderful home!

Eatonton, to Sparta, to Warrenton. Somewhere long the way to Wrens I passed through a community called Jewell.

I turned south from Warrenton on Highway 80 towards Wrens, Merged onto Georgia 1/221 to Louisville, on down Georgia 1 to Swainsboro, back on Georgia 80 to Adrian on to Dublin where I connected to  Georgia 441 up to Milledgeville and north almost back to Eatonton. I then turned into the Oconee National Forrest down and around back up to Monticello back to Jackson, to Griffin and home to Senoia. The whole trip lasted about 8 hours and covered some 412 miles.

When I got home I was tired, but refreshed. It was a great day. All along the way I saw lakes &

Wisteria.

ponds, animals, flowering trees, shrubs, plants and wonderful farm land. The dominate floral item I saw was Wisteria. Growing up I have been told I am allergic to this plant. It hangs like purple grapes, only it is blooms, all over trees along the way. And I noticed that it has a very sweet fragrance, something like honeysuckle. And it was everywhere along the road.

And as I rode along, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my position of privilege. I have the luxury of free time, a motorcycle, political freedom, financial freedom to choose to purchase what I want, when I want (within my means of course) and go where I choose when I choose. A large portion of the world can do non of these things.

John Mattox, one of the 4 for 40 Project team, and I were talking Thursday after a meeting. We were

The 4 for 40 Project Team. l-r:David Blackwood, John Mattox, Dan Dixon, Nathaniel Long

sharing our journey on this Lenten Fast of eating only Stop Hunger Now meals for the 40 days of Lent. We talked about how we were preparing the food each day, how much we were eating, how often, how the fund-raising was going for our respective packaging events, and how much weight we were loosing (though this is not part of our intentional plan, just a good benefit). We both remarked that much to our surprise, being faithful to the meal plan has so far proven much easier than either of us had imagined. We are eating far less food than we anticipated, we are not hungry, we are not experiencing any of the things we anticipated. And yet, we are aware that, in our effort to experience what those that these meals mean so much to, we have a position of privilege. John and I come to the table knowing that this is temporary. We know that if we need it, we can get something more or different to eat — at any time. We know that this will end at a certain set date. And our loss of weight is good for us, as we are both somewhat overweight.

For those that Stop Hunger Now meals are sent to in the real world, have none of this. They don’t know if this meal is the last one or not. They come to the meal very hungry. They do not have the option of more or something different to eat if they are still hungry, if they feel faint, if they are not fully nourished. They have no idea if or when they will eat again without Stop Hunger Now. And they are generally very under weight due to being under fed — which leads to hunger related illness and eventually death. A preventable death.

Every time you or I sit down to a table, at home or in a restaurant, we are exercising our privilege. And we need to be aware of this, and we need  to give thanks for our blessings. With these blessings comes the responsibility, and actually honor, to share those blessings with those that do not share them in the world.

We have the ability to make a difference in the world. A life saving difference. If you are like me and watch the news and see all the conflict, violence, and death in the world; you wish you could change this in the world. And yet, we feel overwhelmed. We feel under equipped. We feel ineffective. We feel – useless. And yet, we have the power to make a difference. We have the power to make the world change. We have the resources to stop disease, hunger, and death from stalking the world’s children. We have 25 cents.

As I have been doing since I began this blog, I want to invite you to choose to participate in this journey with me. Read my thoughts here in the blog. Hear my heart as I share it with you. Feel the pain I feel as I look at what we could do — if we choose. And then choose to join me in doing something to change the world. If nothing else, send me your change jar, bowl, box, or whatever you put your change into each day. Every quarter feeds a child for another day.

Your tax-deductible donation can be made online or by check: Stop Hunger Now, c/o Senoia UMC, P.O.Box 98, Senoia, GA 30276.

Make a difference. Save a life. Do it today before another child dies a needless death. Together, we can Stop Hunger. Now.

Until the next time….The Hog Father



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