Unprecedented Wealth


I was recently speaking with an urban pastor who described the great emotional difficulty people face living in low-income urban communities.  Surrounded by large amounts of wealth he indicated that people become easily discouraged.

According to Mike Hanlon of Gizmag, 10% of the world’s adults control 85% of the global household wealth.  Americans control a majority of that wealth.  It is estimated that the poorest of Americans rank in the top third of the wealthiest in the world. 

No wonder people living in low-income urban communities in America become easily discouraged. They only see what they do not have in America. They do not see what they do have relative to the rest of the world.

We live in unprecedented times.  There is more financial wealth amassed today than ever before in the history of the world. 

I do know from experience that Americans are some of the most generous people in the world.

When it comes to natural disaster crises, Americans are among the top contributors immediately providing emergency aid relief.  However, those emergency relief gifts are primarily from our current income and not from the abundance of resources that we have accumulated.

America is a land of opportunity.  We have the opportunity to work, own property, make a living, and support our families.  We are certainly a financially blessed nation. 

Yet, living in America offers us another kind of opportunity -- the opportunity to help others.

With wealth comes responsibility.   What are we to do with the wealth entrusted to us?  Mr. Howe, my homeless friend, used to remind me that our children and grandchildren only need a small amount to help them become self-sufficient, independent, contributing members of society. 

What are we going to do with the rest?

We have a fantastic opportunity assisting charitable purposes that are dear to us with some of the riches that we have accumulated.  Have you thought about whom and how you wish to help?