EACH DAY WE HAVE 30,000 CHANCES TO SAVE A HUMAN LIFE IN EXTREME POVERTY.
24 hours is a very brief amount of time in a life span. We don’t think twice about wasting an entire day doing nothing. After all, it’s just one day…however, for tens of thousands of people in poverty it is the day they will take their last breath. The same day we happily spend doing nothing of significance is the most important day in the lives of those who will perish and in the lives of those that love and need them. It is the day a father has to bury his small son. It is the day a mother dies during child-birth. It is the day a teenager steps on a landmine. It is the day a young girl becomes an orphan. It is the day an 8-year-old child soldier kills his first victim. It is the day you relaxed and took it easy.
In a life span of 75 years you will live about 27,400 days. Does that seem like a large number to you? Does it seem like you have plenty of time to waste? You must remember how dramatically that number decreases as you age. If you are 30 you have about 16,430 days left. At 50 you have about 9,130 days available. At the retirement age of 62 you have about 4,745 days before 75. Obviously, as each day passes it is gone forever and, unfortunately, so are the particular opportunities that it presented. Each day you waste is time you can never recover.
These numbers illustrate the incredible value of each and every day of your life. As you age you begin to realize just how precious 24 hours really is. Of course when you are young it appears that you have inexhaustible supply of time ahead of you, but that is an illusion…and, sadly, none of us is guaranteed a life span of 75 years or more. That means we should treat each day for what it is; the most important time in our lives. It is, the only day we ever have since we can never possess yesterday with its regret or tomorrow with its hope. Now is our only reality.
In the world of extreme poverty, 24 hours is the length of time it takes for 25,000 children to die. Most are under the age of five, and they are utterly innocent and completely helpless. In many cases their survival depends on the mercy of strangers like you and me. A five-year old child has lived about 1,825 days. They have no real understanding of life yet. They do not realize that there are great nations around the world that could save them – if they only would. They do not know that billions of tons of food is wasted while they go hungry. They do understand why material things are considered far more important than human life. They do not comprehend why a simple mosquito bite can kill them. They are just children, living day-to-day until they become a statistic, and they are forgotten.
Today is a day like any other…or is it? Stop and think for a few moments. This day is absolutely filled with opportunities to save human lives. Through your donations to humanitarian relief agencies, or by using your time to raise awareness about extreme poverty, or by volunteering with an international aid organization, you could have an impact in countless ways. This could be the day you save a child’s life, but if you treat the next 24 hours just like any other day the results will be exactly the same. You will not have accomplished anything of significance and the most vulnerable will die waiting for the help that never comes.
During a typical day the average American will fight boredom by watching more than 4 hours of television, consume more than 3,000 calories including 3 pointless servings of animal flesh and waste around 30 gallons of water. Is consumption all there is to your life? Do you want there to be more?…Contrast your experience with the fact that more than 1,000 children in extreme poverty will die each hour during a “typical” day, and for the most part these deaths are preventable – none of them have to happen. Yet we happily waste time, food, water and practically anything else we can get our hands on without giving a thought to what great things we could be doing instead. It’s as if we live in a fog of our making. We never even begin to tap the potential that is within each of us.
Each day that we let slip by without using our skills and abilities to make the world a more tolerant and compassionate place is an immeasurable loss. It is not just 24 hours that is gone; it is also everything that could have been achieved during that day. Starving children could have been fed. Wells could have been dug to provide clean water. Life saving vaccines could have been administered. Mosquito nets could have been delivered to protect against malaria. Mothers could have had proper medical care when they delivered their babies. The list goes on and on…That is why it is so important to understand that time is not static. It is ever-moving, it is always racing away from us, stealing our lives. How you spend your time matters because what you do today can have a profound effect on others, whether you realize it or not.
If you are young and your life is stretching out before you, try to understand how quickly the time will pass. If you are older, please feel a sense of urgency to make every moment count. Whatever your age, don’t just exist day after day; LIVE. Make a difference by doing something special with your life. Use your time to improve the lives of other human beings. Save a child so that they have the same chance in life as your children. This could be such an important day for you in so many ways. The next 24 hours could change your life forever if you will only take the first step.
A new day is another opportunity to try to change the world. If you have read this far you can no longer plead ignorance about the death toll of extreme poverty. From this day forward you will now have to consciously make the decision to ignore ten of thousands of dying children. You will have to turn your back on those who need food, clean water and medications. You will have look away from refugees, orphans and the victims of rape. You will have to turn a blind eye to catastrophic illnesses, epidemics of disease and genocide. For how ever many days remain in your life you are going to have to choose to not care. Please don’t make that mistake. Don’t let another day go by without making the decision to begin helping others. For someone in extreme poverty you represent hope. Don’t let them down.
FOR 30,000 HUMAN BEINGS IN EXTREME POVERTY TODAY WILL BE THEIR LAST DAY ON EARTH.