Sometimes it seems a little crazy to me that in some parts of the world a significant proportion of my fellow human beings have to walk an average distance of six kilometres and carry 20kg of water just to consume a drink that is safe…
All I have to do is go to my local supermarket find the right aisle and I will see over 15 different brands of water (and yes I actually counted!) not to mention the range of options, sizes and flavours I can purchase on a whim. If I am feeling really lazy I don’t even have to leave my home for a cool, refreshing, thirst quenching glass of agua; as all I need to do is find the energy to get up and saunter less than two meters into the kitchen and drink as much water as I want.
Not to mention my local Costco is the food equivalent of Disneyworld, a place full of awe inspiring wonder and an endless abundance of products. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to purchase a 10kg bag of rice, a 12 pack of pasta or a 1kg M&M peanuts bag…and I can’t help but wonder how a child in a poverty stricken part of the world would feel if they knew there were other humans on the very same planet who live in an alternate reality of indulgence, luxury and convenience.
It isn’t just the large supermarket chains either because I live in a reality where I am surrounded by a vast array of foods. If I choose to go to my local food market, restaurant buffet, petrol station or convenience store every shelf is packed full of product.
With 7 billion of us living on this third rock from the sun, how is it that an estimated 870 million suffer from hunger and yet 1.7 billion are considered overweight or obese? I won’t even attempt to horrify you with the statistics on the tonnes of food waste produced each year in (so called) developed countries.
Wu Tang Clan said it best when they released the 1993 underground cult classic C.R.E.A.M and said “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” so this isn’t the part where I attempt to try and make you feel guilty for being born into an environment or system you have no control over.
Truth is despite the clear and present inequities in our world I love the amenities and convenience of living in one of the most over priced, over crowed cities in the world. I love that I can go to Mr Wu’s all you can eat buffet for a set price or I can order a meal deal from Pizza Hut on an app from my phone.
Modern living isn’t easy either and I have found no evidence to suggest that people who live in the western world are necessarily any happier than those who live in the developing world. While researching this post I found solid evidence that suggests that people in Jamaica, Vietnam and Colombia are happier than those living in Germany, The United States or my home town of The United Kingdom.
I just so happen to be born into a part of the world where capitalism, commerce and competition fuel the fire of the society that I live in and I am in no way suggesting that doesn’t come with its own set of problems or there are not extreme inequities within any system…
But I sincerely hope that the small conveniences like running water in your home, indoor heating, local restaurants, shopping malls, HD television, cinemas, gyms, your dish washer or whatever it maybe, aren’t totally taken for granted because it’s a little insane that a goldfish in the western world has more food options than a child born into the wrong circumstance.
Until next time.