Recently, I was at a friend’s house and recognized a familiar and ugly sinking feeling…it was jealousy and envy coming over me like a heavy cloak. Ugh. I hate it when this happens. I started to dwell on the fact that my house doesn’t quite compare to hers- I couldn’t help but think about how my appliances are outdated, my wall paper HAS to go, and the 50’s era that I can’t stand is alive and well in many rooms of my little house. It makes me feel like I am behind and that I need to do something to catch up. I should probably go out and buy something to fix this feeling…Maybe I need to get a new…
I need to STOP RIGHT THERE…I am in need of something…but not a house make-over, not a shopping trip, not a new candle, lamp or some other self-medicating house accessory.
What I need is perspective.
I can feel it. I have lost it. I need it.
Let’s take a look around the world to see what the housing situation is there. Check out these stats from Habitat for Humanity to help out with my perspective problem:
- By the year 2030, an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)
- One out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years. (Slum indicators include: lack of water, lack of sanitation, overcrowding, non-durable structures and insecure tenure.) (UN-HABITAT: 2006)
- As much as 70 percent of the urban housing stock in sub-Saharan Africa, 50 percent in South Asia, and 25 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean is of poor quality and not in compliance with local regulations. (Kissick, et al: 2006)
- One’s health is directly linked to housing and housing related basics such as water and sanitation. In Mexico, researchers at the World Bank and University of California, Berkeley, found that replacing dirt floors with concrete floors improved the health of children, including a 20 percent reduction in parasitic infections, a 13 percent reduction in diarrhea and a 20 percent reduction in anemia.
- 2.6 billion people or 39 per cent of the world’s population live without access to improved sanitation and 751 million people share their sanitation facilities with other households or only use public facilities. (World Health Organization, 2009)
- Access to land is fundamental to adequate shelter. Having legal title to that land encourages families to invest and improve their homes and allows them to access credit and other public services such as water and electricity. Nearly one sixth of the world’s population is living without secure tenure (UN-HABITAT: 2008).
- Women are particularly affected by insecure tenure. Increasing and protecting women’s access to land tenure can decrease their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, violence, human trafficking and the impact of natural disasters. Women own less than 15 percent of the land worldwide (International Center for Research on Women: 2006).
Wow- Ok. So now I have some perspective. Thanks for being here with me.
Please come back tomorrow to further our discussion.
What can we do?
How do we respond?
How should we live in light of this reality?
Thanks for starting this important conversation with me. May you sense His loving and merciful embrace, and may you share that love with someone else today.
~ Wrapped in His Affection ~