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Thoughts on the unprecedented privileges and luxuries we all take for granted.
By Chris Egan
We hear a lot about the 1% in the U.S., and understanding the dynamics driving that distinction is important, but did you know that, from a global perspective, most Americans (millions of Americans) are in the 1% in terms of wealth? You only have to make $32,400 per year to exceed the income of 99% of the people in the world. That means that you and I probably make more money than 7.2 billion people.
Needless to say, most people take their luxurious life for granted. I certainly do. We make jokes about having “first world problems”, but fail to acknowledge how fortunate we are to live in this time in this place. We fail to feel the gratitude beyond the “first world” sarcasm.
The average American enjoys luxuries and conveniences that, a mere 100 years ago, were not available to kings and queens in other countries.
We are now the Kings and Queens, at least we are living like them.
We can push a few buttons on our phones and summon food or cars on demand. We have a plethora of entertainment ready to stream from one of the 3 TVs in our houses (average number per Nielsen). We sleep on soft modern beds under thick warm blankets in comfortable air-conditioned rooms behind solid dark curtains and we are awakened on command by a futuristic portable electronic device that fits in our pocket.
We have clean water (most of us), indoor plumbing, hot showers, and refrigerators. Automatic coffee makers, blenders, and microwaves.
These are our servants, our staff ready to work at our bidding.
The electronic device that wakes us up can be also used to contact people on the other side of the city, state, country or even the world in an instant. From this device we can pull endless amounts of data and information, accessing the knowledge of billions of people from throughout history or we can take a picture, record our voice, or write a message and send it out into the world for anyone to see. It’s a supercomputer with more processing power than all of Nasa had when they sent people to the moon.
We travel around in safe luxurious wonders, cars that zip us around at 65+mph taking us wherever we want to go. The average American can dine on cuisines from around the world, drink beer and wine like water, go golfing every weekend, and vacation at lakes and beaches.
We are free to pursue education whether at universities or by utilizing the incredible amount of free knowledge available on the Internet. We can invest our money and grow it through the wonder of compound interest or spend it on frivolous indulgences.
To have been born in this period of time, in this place, in this world is a gift and instead of accepting and appreciating it, I’ve behaved like an ungrateful child opening socks on Christmas morning.
The world is mine. The world is yours. Our opportunities are endless.
We are kings and queens.
Let us rule with benevolence.