I started reading Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis this morning. It's about the United Nations Millenium Development Goals, which focus on creating change in the areas of education, heath, poverty and gender equality by the year 2015.
The first chapter is called Context: It Shames and Diminishes Us All, and it starts like this: "I have spent the last four years watching people die. Nothing in my adult life prepared me for the carnage of HIV/AIDS." I've already shed tears, despite having read only seven pages of the book. It's devastating.
I started to think about my life, and the lives of the people I know, and how blessed we all are. I started to think about how we all complain about silly things - ongoing litanies of:
I'm getting fat.
I'm not sure what to do with my life.
I am not pretty enough, I am not smart enough, I am not good enough...
We take so much for granted:
If we were uncertain of our next meal, if we could not feed our children, if our country was in famine - we would not have the luxury of worrying about getting fat.
If we did not have access to clean water and medical attention, if our country were wracked by civil war, if we were ruled by a dictatorship - we would not have the luxury of choice.
Insecurity is a luxury only developed nations can afford.