Geri Stengel

 
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You're Richer Than You Think So Sharing Won't Hurt

Feeling strapped in the current economy? To get a reality check on just how lucky you are, check out the global rich list. Enter your yearly income and you'll find out just how well you are doing compared to the rest of the global population.

You may find, as I did, that more than 190 million people are wealthier than you (sigh), but ... wait! How many people are there in the world? About 6.8 billion, according to census.gov's world population clock. That puts a lot of people below me on the economic ladder.

mindfulness, social consciousness, social entrepreneurs, social responsibilityThe site makes a few lifestyle comparisons, things like $8 can buy 15 organic apples for you or 25 fruit trees so farmers in Honduras can support their families. And $73 for shoes or a phone can support a mobile health clinic in Uganda.

Makes you think. Not that I'm against organic produce but saving $8 in a week or a month on some purchase – lattes, after-work socializing? – can't be that hard. Maybe our priorities need a little re-organizing. A couple I know registered their favorite charities instead of registering for wedding gifts. They figured that having been on their own for a few years, they already had all the pots and china they needed. Some of their stuff might be mismatched or chipped but is having matching china as important as that mobile health clinic?

It's easy to get soft in our social consciousness and to lose sight of our own excesses. Of course, we're allowed to indulge ourselves! Sack cloth and ashes are not necessary accessories to social consciousness. But mindfulness is required.

Is a trendy label more important than that health clinic?

Think about your choices. Be mindful of the choice you are not making.

Any suggestions for ways to be socially conscious? Is mindful choice asking too much?