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David Is Worried About Eating… What Is Your Biggest Worry?

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Poor people in other countries are praying for what we take for granted.

Someone else is praying for the basic things we take for granted…

This post today is a bit personal for me and something I care deeply about.  Let me introduce you to a friend of mine.  His name is David Jatta and he lives in The Gambia.  The Gambia is the smallest country in the mainland of Africa and 48% of the population lives in poverty.  I recently asked David if I could share his story and he graciously agreed.

I met David a while back through Twitter.  He is 18 years old and takes care of his mother and 5 siblings.  His father passed away earlier this year after he became sick and they were unable to afford medical treatment.  After his passing, David was tasked with taking care of his siblings and mother.  Because David did not finish school, he does not have any special trade skills to earn a stable income.  To provide for his family, he collects dry wood in the forest on a daily basis and sells it at the local market for about $3.00 a day.  With this, he is able to provide rice for his family, but not much else.

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I infrequently talk to David when he saves up a small amount of money to use at the internet cafe in his town.  He is able to use 40 minutes on a cafe computer for about 20 cents in United States currency.

Below is a picture of David and his siblings.

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David struggles on a daily basis to provide his family with food.  Let that sink in.  I have read many accounts of people who can not afford to eat, and I have seen many TV commercials talking about poverty in other countries.  These accounts have never really affected me because I am so disconnected from it.  Yes, we see the images and read the stories and feel bad, but poverty is so far from us and it is easy to disconnect from it.

The same was true for me until I started conversing with David.  I started connecting with him, in the same way I would connect with a close friend.  I started to care for him and feel sympathy and empathy for him as a person – a human.  He was no longer a distant story or billboard, he was on my phone, connecting to me in milliseconds telling me of his joys, goals, and his fears.  The more I learned about him, the more disgusted I became with myself and our culture.

Our Entitlements

I consider myself a humble person who is blessed beyond measure.  I constantly pray and thank God for my blessings and the people in my life, but as I learned more about David, the more greedy I felt.

After speaking with David one evening, I looked outside and saw my two vehicles.  Yes, they are both over 10 years old, but they are like Ferrari’s compared to what is in David’s country.  I looked around my house, and it is a mansion compared to what David and his family live in.

When was the last time you honestly looked at your kitchen sink and were thankful for the water that came from it?  David retrieves his water from a well in the morning.  Can you even imagine?  The majority of us would not be able to function in a financial climate such as his.

I am not saying we should feel bad for our blessings, but maybe the next time we pray for that promotion or for that new car, we should look at our most basic needs and consider ourselves extremely blessed to have running water, air conditioning, a roof that doesn’t leak, and clean clothes.

Our Debt And Greed

Why do we have debt?  It is because we wanted something we could not afford at the time.  It was an expensive car we wanted and we now make monthly payments on it because we couldn’t wait and save up for it on our own.  It is our credit card debt because we had to have those clothes and vacations we didn’t have the money for.  Our wants and greed took control of us and we are now indebted to our lenders.

My friends, we live like kings and queens compared to much of the world.  I know you work hard for what you have and I’m not taking away from that.  You have earned much of what you have, but stop taking the little things you have for granted.  Control your want for more – for bigger and better.

Someone else is praying for the basic things we take for granted…

Have you recently had a humbling experience that made you thankful for what you have?  Comment below, I’d love to hear about it!  If you haven’t signed up to receive future articles by email, please add yourself to the bottom of this page.  Also, please share this article across social media if you found it beneficial.  I’m trying to grow my audience to help as many people as I can – and I need your help!

-Ryan

About The Author

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Ryan Luke is a father of three, a husband, finance blogger, and full-time police officer. Through proper budgeting and money management, they have been able to live off one income and build wealth at the same time. As an active member of the personal finance community, his goal is to educate and help people get out of debt and build wealth!

2 thoughts on “David Is Worried About Eating… What Is Your Biggest Worry?”

  1. Great post! I’m glad that David found you through twitter and that you’re able to be an encouragement to him. Seems like knowing him is teaching you a lot as well. I agree that America’s debt is for the most part an indicator of how our wants go grossly out of proportion with what we need. This is a story that everyone needs to hear. Reality checks are good for us all. Thank you for sharing this.

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