Monday, May 14, 2007

Double greed ... and 16 ducks

When we take more than we need, and then throw away what we don’t use, our double greed deprives others of what they need to live.

Living in the rich west, we rely on foodstuffs and materials sourced from right across the world. We can afford to pay for them, though we still squeeze the price down to a minimum. While other countries produce what we need, they often don’t get the benefit from the crops (or a proper price/wage) themselves.

How often do we not clear our plates by the end of a meal, emptying the waste into the kitchen bin? How often do we get up after a meal with a sore gut, having eaten too much rather than having had too little to satisfy our appetite? Or do we ever buy from a supermarket, and then throw goods out that are past their sell-by date but haven’t been consumed.

Yesterday morning, many churches will have marked the start of Christian Aid week (11–19 May) with a service focussing on conditions in overseas countries, and opportunities to make a difference. Many will even have hosted a bread and cheese lunch, encouraging folk to donate the cost of their normal lunch to Christian Aid in exchange for a simple meal.

If you’re not familiar with their work, their website explains some more ...

“Christian Aid is an agency of the churches in the UK and Ireland. We work wherever the need is greatest – irrespective of religion or race.

Because we believe in strengthening people to find their own solutions to the problems they face, we support local organisations, which are best placed to understand local needs. We also give help on the ground through 16 overseas offices.

We strive for a new world transformed by an end to poverty and we campaign to change the rules that keep people poor.”

If someone puts an envelope through your door this week, or you pass by a collector on the street, think about giving a little to make a difference somewhere in the world. And if you’ve a birthday coming up, you could ask for a gift from their online catalogue. What about 16 ducks?

(Post number 600!)

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