Ten million kids die each year from lack of food, safe water, and vacccines. Millions more suffer permanent disability from lack of vitamins and minerals. Mothers throughout Africa and in parts of Asia and Latin America give birth on dirt floors and die of tetanus as a result. Tetanus ranks among the most excruciating forms of death, but it may be gentle compared to watching your kids die from hunger. The victims of such unimaginable misery have no idea of its cause. But we can know why they suffer. It’s not because there isn’t enough food or water or vaccines or vitamines and minerals. The world produces more than two pounds of grain per person per day. Do you know anyone who can eat two pounds of rice or wheat per day? And that two pounds is only grain. It doesn’t include potatoes or beans or fruits. There’s an abundance of food on earth and an abundance of vaccines and other minimum essentials. Mothers and children live and die in unspeakable misery because they’re too poor to buy what they need. Half of all people live on two dollars or less per day. They have no idea why they’re poor. They’re illiterate and without access to education or information. But we can know why they’re poor. They’re poor because the world’s money is not distributed evenly. And we can know why that is: Some people learn to take more than their fair share. Imagine that all the money in the world were put on one table. Imagine that all people came to this table to take from it. Imagine that some few people were very cleaver and knew how to push past poor, uneducated mothers and children in order to take big globs of money. When they were done, there wouldn’t be much left for the mothers and children. The poor are poor because some smart people are too rich. Where do smart people learn how to push past poor, uneducated mothers and children? Where do smart, rich people learn how to close their hearts and minds to what they really want?
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