As I continue discovering the Southwest I spent a weekend recently in New Mexico. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an art show in Santa Fe and several galleries and open houses in Taos. That area is also famous for its Pueblo ruins and villages. I walked through villages that are over 1,000 years old and visited with the natives who still live without electricity and water. I also spent one day visiting a Catholic monastery high into the mountains of northern New Mexico. While at the sacred property I realized the diversity of the monks. They were from all over the world, including India, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea and Africa.
Unlike Utah where the majority our population is caucasian, New Mexico is made up of over 45 percent hispanic (either Spanish or Mexican) and about 11 percent native Americans. The diversity of the state, along with the monastery reminded me of a sermon recently at our church in Price. The visiting pastor providing us a thumb nail sketch of the earth, should it's population be shrunk into a village of just 100 people with all the human nations existing in the world still remaining, what would this tiny, diverse village look like?
The facts were provided by Philip M. Harter, a medical doctor at the Stanford University of Medicine and here is what he found: 57 people in the village would be Asian; 21 would be European; 14 would be from the Western hemisphere; eight would be African; 52 would be female; 48 would be male; 70 would be non-while; 30 would be white; 89 would be heterosexual; 11 would be homosexual; six people would possess 59 percent of the entire world's wealth and all six would be from the United States; 80 would live in substandard housing; 70 would be unable to read; 50 would suffer from malnutrition; one would be near death; one would be pregnant; one would have a college education; and one would own a computer.
The pastor who used these facts also tied in a message of thanksgiving and challenged the parishioners that if you live in a good home, have plenty to eat and can read, you are a member of a very select group. If you have a good house, food, can read, and have a computer, you are among the very elite. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more fortunate than the million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you attend a religious meeting or church service without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are fortunate because more than three billion people in the world cannot.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top eight percent of the world's wealthy. If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in America.
So as we prepare for the upcoming week, I hope these few sobering facts will bring us back to the reality in the world today of what life is like for other people in the world.