How Rich Are You?
As a writer, I think I cleared a little over $5 last month on royalties for my e-novel. As a teacher, I make less than most people in the professional world with degrees. I wanted to give all of us who make very little money yet continue in the writing or teaching game a little encouragement.
I’ve been to a couple of places outside the U.S. that would be considered poverty areas, and have seen people living with very little. I saw a man in China who was deranged, homeless, wearing nothing but the dirt he rolled around in, covering himself with a matted blanket, eating from the contents of a trash can. I’ve seen four children in Mexico living in a wooden shack with a blue plastic tarp for a roof, kicking a rock around outside the front of their dwelling as if it were a soccer ball.
If you want to have some perspective, go to this website (www.globalrichlist.com) and see how you rank among the world’s “wealthy”. If that is not enough, then read the following (note that because of changing statistics, this observation may change some, but not enough to invalidate it):
If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:
The village would have 61 Asians, 13 Africans, 12 Europeans, 9 Latin Americans, and 5 from the USA and Canada
50 would be male, 50 would be female
75 would be non-white; 25 white
80 would live in substandard housing
16 would be unable to read or write
50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation
33 would be without access to a safe water supply
39 would lack access to improved sanitation
24 would not have any electricity (And of the 76 that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
8 people would have access to the Internet
1 would have a college education
1 would have HIV
2 would be near birth; 1 near death
5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth; all 5 would be US citizens
48 would live on less than US$ 2 a day
20 would live on less than US$ 1 a day
When we consider the global perspective, many of us would see that we are living with much wealth. I also think about whether “wealth” really means money. Why do I continue teaching? Why not go out and get a job in the business world where I could make three times my current salary? It is because I “make” something much better than money. I also write novels (I hope) that cut to the quick of what society needs to hear and not what it wants to hear.
I will leave you with Taylor Mali: