I keep thinking about the local state government hospital that we traveled through last week with a medical team from California. This hospital sees one of the most severe cases to the south of Lima, with a reach out into millions of resident's regions for medical care.
If they can afford it. If they can't afford costs, they easily die outside the door. Literally. No money, no consultation, no treatment, and no solution.
General admission for a consultation rests on approximately $ 2.75 USD. Considering that many live off of less than $2.00 USD a day, making a payment to the hospital to get seen by a doctor ranks low on the list of priorities, especially when raising children, or having to additionally purchase your 40 gallon drum of water for the day which is an additional $ 1.00 USD. It would be scratching for a bad draw if you had to go to the emergency room on the same day that the water truck decided, after three days of not coming to the region, to come and demand payment for 40 gallon drum of water.
That would be a bad day.
Did you enjoy the dinner last night where you and your loved one smacked down $ 348.00 USD for two at one of the most posh fine dining in all of the city ? Was the slab of 3/4 sizzled steak tasty ? Did it settle well on your palate ?
I don't think anyone blames you. It's not intentional that ignorance pains the marginalized oppressed. You just never knew...
Just think, and with all due respect, while you enjoyed that incredible meal last night, our friends ate here last night.
Don't worry. You never knew... Or did you ? You just thought that there was someone else that would take care of them...
Countless opportunities are expressed about the humanitarian request to help others in need. Discussions about visiting people while in jail, giving people something to drink, and giving out food to those who are hungry all rank up on the list of priorities.
You never knew ?
If walls could talk, we'd all be learning new life experiences that would put each of us to shame, not because we're bad people, but because we are unaware. While people struggle for survival from all painful types of infections, medical diseases, amputated limbs, and cardiac complications at this regional hospital, we walked in as guests. Healthy. Its okay though, its not your fault... You just didn't know...
Did you know that within one hour of our medical team traveling through this state institutional medical hospital, we met 2 patients whom are orphaned, living, being cared for by nurses that pay for their $ 120.00 USD a month medical bills. Within that same hour, we met burn victims that will never see their skin again because there are no funds to cover their treatment. Imagine? Scraping infection off of muscle tissue...
I remember when you had that plastic surgery done to fix up the wrinkle above your nose, and with the plastic surgeon that you hired, I think you saved a few thousand dollars on having your breasts lifted and tucked. I was amazed at how thrilled you were with the final bill costing just under $ 123,000 USD, which you and your friends exclaimed was a huge saving. You were so proud of yourself as you bought everyone a round of cosmopolitans at the local swanky jazz bar that just opened up on 47th, just across from the glamorous new Day spa that glitters as fine diamonds.
Its okay. Its not your fault. While you just burned your credit card off with that lift, we're still searching for funds to put skin on a burn victim here that is screaming in pain after a gasoline explosion from a moto-taxi left her hairless and skinless. You just didn't know...
I know, I know, its so far away from you. You live there, with all that you need around you and in reality, the thought of driving in for pizza or calling for delivery is only the difference of $5.00, with of course, extra meat & cheese crusts just is only an extra $5.00 USD. So, you can decide tonight, if you want to add the extra $10.00 USD to your order or not. Why not? Its only $10.00 USD right ? That's just a bit. I hope you enjoy it. It will be delicious.
Tonight, just this once, as you eat your extra meat & cheese crusted pizza, could you please consider, just for tonight, and I only ask, just for tonight... that you could have just paid for three emergency room consultations for people dying of heart attacks here at this same building where the walls don't speak, but see everything.
The walls of this building, cemented with nasty green paint chipping away in most sections of the compound, leak the secrets of a failing system to provide the needs for a city's nine million people. Don't feel bad though, its not your fault... You just didn't know...
You didn't know of the pain that people feel when they see their father getting denied entrance into the emergency room on the south side of Lima because he didn't have the money to get a consolation, and, keels over and dies on the cement steps outside the door. Don't worry, buy the extra meat and cheese, because I am sure that you feel so far removed from what just happened here today.
The crackdown in the system is the awareness of education to provide prevention before the crisis occurs. That, frankly, goes across all platforms. This way, when people go and decide whether to purchase new Mary Kay products at full price or wait for the discounted previous season items, they can decide whether to perhaps save a little money for someone that may not have as much and may be struggling to get food on their table. Tonight, in the news here, there are little children, under the age of 3 with severe respiratory infections due to lack of warm clothing in the highlands of Lima. A baby with no socks or shoes is wandering around with wheezing, hacking, and discolored mucus discharge.
I have made countless errors. I am one of those ragamuffins, shuffled off misfits that only God would love, which, thankfully, I am 100% grateful. The most sought blessing in the entire misfitted life is that we know where we are. This is a reassuring calm in the sweet spot of self-awareness. As I only now seek the approval of God first and who He says that I am, it makes the rest of the situation of doing life quite peaceful. When one experiences a peace that goes profoundly into the core and you realize that you are nothing, its the best and overwhelmingly joyful and liberating experience because you have nothing on your own. The only strength comes from the nothingness. Guess what? Out of the nothingness of yourself comes greatness in the strength of something outside of yourself.
A deep humility is born in the nothingness that is legit and purely raw in authenticity. When tragedy strikes, you feel more human, and you grieve a bit deeper, and you cry a bit harder. Did you know that? Its okay, maybe because you never knew. You think you've had everything that you ever wanted so how would you know what nothingness feels like...?
You are the best, and everyone else is below you, so in reality, they are nothing, and you are everything. You have been so successful in the industry for the last 25 years, selling medical and health insurance to companies and individuals, bringing in extra bonuses every year that take you to the most exotic resorts in the world. You handle pharmaceutical companies like bags of rice and you've got the executives playing right into the pocketbook of your stock shares. You live the high life and roll with the big guns. Achieved it all and you've got everything. So, no one blames you for the poverty that 3/4 of your world and neighbors embrace every night.
Yesterday, a friend told me that his brother was shot in the back of the head at the age of 17. My friend was two years old when this happened. Violence. Crime. All such tragedies that if only one had spoken up to prevent the pain, perhaps the crossed paths of today would be different. Just imagine, if you had spent only $120 USD last month on an educational program for children learning how to exhale their frustrations and anger into positive release management structures, perhaps you would have prevented my friend's brother from being murdered by a violent peer.
You just didn't know... Or did you ? You just chose to turn your head the other away and pretend you didn't see it.
Poverty. Marginalized existence for the oppressed. Its not something you ever had to deal with, is it ? Or is it something you never wanted to deal with it? You never left the comfort zone to even dare to dance with the edge of risk as humanity's desperate cries call us forward.
Maybe you never will...
And sadly enough, there will be millions of people that will never have the chance to speak or be spoken for because you were too caught up in the newest line of wines bottles that literally stock your house from top to bottom that hold so much that you will never drink in the next 10 years, however from the money that you've spent on those precious collections, our teams could have saved between 4000 and 6000 people 6 months to prevent them from dying from highly curable and treatable infections and diseases. However, you choose the luxurious life. They, unfortunately, because of your choice, get death chosen for them.
You never knew... How can someone blame you ?
Are we blaming the wrong person?
This is where the table turns. So that you know that I don't blame you. I truly don't. Perhaps through this entire writing, you are thinking that I've been going on and on about a ranting frustration of how the wealthy stay rich while the rest of us die. No, in reality, I'm not thinking that about you at all.
Quite the opposite. I realize one simple fact that my father taught me,
"You cannot change anyone but yourself," and that is the magical transformational process of rising up out of our nothingness. In this nothingness, I can't possibly attempt to advocate for others if I firstly don't work on the self-awareness journey discovery of becoming the person that I am to become in every sense of word, action, and deed.
I may not have known... but I know now... The change for the transformational miracle from nothingness to somethingness happens when we change ourselves.
You didn't know that youth groups across our region saw over 10 teenage births in the last 8 months, with countless UTI infections, and parasites that could be easily treated by general medical care. A medical campaign came through last week and sacrificed their time, resources, and energy to provide free medical care, supplies, and attention to hundreds of people. Humble. Authentic. Real.
You didn't know? You were out on the golf course, having a few kick back with the clubbers while finishing out the $ 260 rounds of golf before heading back to the clubhouse to slosh down a few more high call drinks. Just a thought to consider as I consider and search within me, I can only change myself, and my approval only comes from a Creator, who has my destiny.I am surely that if you were in this group of golfing sport, spend a lot of money on the entertainment aspect of it, memberships, and a family pass for a year long membership for your whole family to golf as many times a week as you desire, however, somehow, you’ve only gone twice in the last year. Its okay, you didn’t know, it was just $3,500 USD per child and I’m sure that you’ll get good use of it this year.
Its okay though, we’ll continue to seek out individuals that are willing to fight for the rights of every human, regardless of their past, but focusing on what their future can hold with the hope found in the freedom from the shackles of poverty.
You go on, and enjoy that exclusive weekend away, only dropping $9,000 USD, plus first class round trip fare of $12,000 USD for you and your loved one. Its a three night stay for you where you’ll enjoy the finest that the island resort can offer you.
We’ve got a lady, who’s leg has been mangled in a taxi accident at this state hospital, who has no family, and she lives on a bed in the emergency room hallway. In the four months that she’s rented out a space on a bed in the hallway, already jammed packed with other grave situations, she’s got a hefty bill of $480.00 USD. That's four months of medical, emergency room lodging. She’ll never get out. Its okay though, as I know you’ve already spent the money on your trip, otherwise, maybe, you could have helped get her medical attention, and then back to Puno, her home.
No one is blaming you. Only one will be the judge of the decisions we make. Only one will be the judge of whom we point finger at. Only one will be the one who declares how much backstabbing, gossiping, and slander we’ve caused to inflict pain on our “brothers & sisters” all in the name of “doing the right thing,” Not to mention the ones that you attempted to trust in and share your heart to later find out that they've taken advantage of you, spilled your life stories to others and came back to tell you that they've been so careful to remain confidential. The reassuring comfort of being in the zone of nothingness is that we have nothing to defend ourselves. We just rest on the fact that our simplicity will speak for itself. In the simplicity of remaining in the state of nothingness, a greatness will arise.
The self-righteous, self-centered, self-glorified people who ride on the superficial wings of holiness spiral down to the realization of the saving grace and in that precious action, simple action of defending the rights of the poor and needy rise off the floor to because an organism of constant change. To improve, sustain, and advocate for those who you didn’t know about…
You said you didn't know...
One day, when we await the rolling up of eternity, one will ask us about where
we were when someone needed food, drink, shelter, or where were we when someone
begged for company in the local jail…
Then we'll all know... You will too...