During a discussion I had recently, it was, and not for the first time, brought to my attention the severity of the problems that people were having around the world. Specifically, as typically used as an example, that there were children starving in Africa, living in the streets, and dying of AIDS.
Again, far be it from me to prioritize the world's problems, but consider this.
There is just as much suffering in America as in Africa or anywhere else. People talk about our nation like we just have all this money and stuff and that makes us secure and content and just fine. They couldn't be more wrong and its because that mindset makes the assumption that material security, if there is such a thing, creates happiness and safety.
For anyone who knows about the problems materialism creates, you know thats not true. Materialism is temporary, destructable, addictive, and consuming. While poor, young girls are starving in Africa, girls in America are starving themselves so they can look like that gal on the front of Cosmo magazine. While AIDS is spreading like mad in Africa due to lack of education and overpopulating certain areas, there are plenty of STD's wracking the US because people are a slave to desire. Some girls will do anything to get attention from guys, while girls in other countries are married off.
We in America suffer from addiction. We are addicted to our desires for attention, satisfaction, intimacy, money, power, and self-glorification.
Now educated people would say that physical needs will always outweigh mental ones, and maybe thats true in most cases, but I will not classify the disease and starvation that Africans suffer as any worse than the disease and starvation that Americans suffer.