I have recently been thinking about how easy it is to lose perspective. I wanted a new iPad, even though my wife already has one, which I can use whenever I want, and I have a fantastic computer. Could I get one? Sure, but that's not the point. What is the point? I often consider myself to be below average in terms of how much money I make. I am a teacher after all. However, having traveled as much as I have, I know better. So I wanted to find out just how rich I am? I discovered a website, which did just that. It compared me and how much money I make with people all over the world. Here is the link if you want to check it out.
Anyway, here is what I found. My wife and I are in the richest 5%, in the entire world. Even more staggering, when I was single (and making about the same amount of money), I was in the richest 1% in the world. What does that mean? For every 100 people in the world, I made more money than 99 of them, and I would have considered myself fairly poor! So it got me to thinking...how much would I have to make before I was no longer richer than half of the world? IF MY WIFE AND I COMBINED MADE ONLY $2500 EACH YEAR, WE WOULD STILL BE MAKING MORE MONEY THAN HALF OF THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!! Let me put that into perspective. If you got an allowance of $25 a week you would be making more money than half of the people in the world!
I need to keep perspective. I am blessed beyond measure, and should not let a day go by without remembering how truly blessed I am. I am only poor when I compare myself to the guy down the street who has a bigger house or a fancier car, but in reality I have far more than I have earned. The only reason I am in the top 5% is because I was fortunate enough to be born in the United States. Sure, I worked hard in school and went to college, but that in itself is more than many people could even hope for. Many people around the world have never had the opportunity for a quality education, but that is for another time.
I believe that those who have been given much, have a great responsibility. I have so much, when it is put in perspective, and I want to be a person who uses what I have to help others, rather than selfishly spending everything I make on myself and the things that I want, but don't really need.
Side Note: You are considered officially poor in the United States if you have a family of four and your family makes less than $22,000. If you make $22,000 and have a family of four, you make more money than 81% of the people in the world!!!
I have been fortunate to work with kids from all over the world and I want to keep perspective in my own life, as well as challenge others to keep things in perspective in their lives. I know a blog like this might be a bit strange to have on an educational website, but I think that education should not be put in a box. What is learned in school needs to connect to the real world. The posts that I make will hopefully challenge people to think differently about life and the world in which they live.