The Tsunami Disaster of December 2004

The Tsunami disaster of December 2004 jolted a lot of us in to a reality of what the consequences of an earthquake could be. It was also heart warming to see people contributing to the welfare of the unfortunate people that were in the path of the wave.

Which begs the question of sharing, giving and tithing. The concept of tithing is a very old and ancient tradition. By the time of Moses, 1490 B.C., it was an already accepted practice. Tithe means a tenth. In tithing, the theory is to share a tenth of all after tax income.

While we shared our Christmas in Drumheller, Abby, Doug’s oldest daughter was collecting funds for the Holy Children Assn. She had a container resembling a half pint of cream, with statements on the outsides. They said, 25 cents can buy note books and pencils in Haiti; 50 cents can buy a nutritious meal in the Congo; 75 cents can buy medicine for sick children in Equador and a dollar can keep 20 children safe from tuberculosis in Bangladesh. The other statement that 50% of the world’s population would be hungry, is a sad commentary on this world in 2005. The quality of life indicator that struck me as almost unbelievable were, the number of people living on less than a dollar a day. India for example has 35% of it’s population living on less than a dollar a day; the Philippines and Venezuela had 15%; Brazil was 10%; Mexico was 8%; Indonesia 7% and even Russia had 6% of her population living on less than a dollar a day.

Prime Minister Paul Martin and the government were criticized by the media and many interviewees about their lack of care and action. I would say before we criticize any one we should look in the mirror because the Fraser Institute did an analysis of Canadian and US charitable giving. In Canada the most generous province was Manitoba at .88 of 1%, Alberta came in fifth in Canada at .7 of 1%. In the US, the state of Utah donates 3.51% of their incomes and even Wyoming who was the lowest US state, was twice as much as our best province Manitoba.

We do live in a great country and we should be ever grateful for having been born or are an accepted immigrant here, and we are a great and caring people with many advantages. I see our challenge to ourselves should be, to share with the less fortunate whether they are in Canada or abroad always, not only when the media makes it a circus.

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