Growing up I always had a roof over my head and food on the table. That makes me very rich when compared to seventy-five percent of the world. We had all we needed and then some, the necessities of life were all accounted for at 28 Mimosa Drive. Maslow’s hierarchy of need tells us that when the most basic needs of life are not met, it’s hard to think about the other things of life. If you belong to that fortunate twenty-five percent who doesn’t worry about where you will lay your head tonight or where your next meal will come from then pause for a moment and be grateful.
While your physical need for safety, food and shelter may be met, there are other provisions that are vital to creating a deep sense of well-being, take love for example. Growing up, I knew without a shadow of doubt that I was loved. When I think about it, this is the greatest inheritance my parents gave me. Their love gave me confidence to be who I am. I was far from perfect but I endeavored to be a good son, student, friend; not so my parents would love me but because I knew they already did love me. I did my chores, sometimes reluctantly but I did them because I loved my Mom and Dad and they loved me.
There is a lot lacking in this world. Politicians and pundits are quick to point out the shortcomings of our culture and society. We can criticize “the Haves” and pity “the Have-nots”. I am reminded often of a quote from Mother Teresa;
The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.
So how can we fill the gap of this poverty of love? What can you do to provide kindness and compassion to people you encounter every day? If you are willing to make a difference; to give, serve, embrace and touch then you make the world a little more like home.