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© 2020 Restless Art, all rights reserved.

The Lottery of Life

We're often told we're in charge of our futures, that there are opportunities available to all of us if only we are willing to work hard.


I wonder if that's really true when I see poverty around the world. I witnessed women in Cusco selling locally made goods and food in the hopes that they'd collect a few soles so at the end of the day they could feed their families.


In comparison, I know I hit the lottery in life. I grew up in a lower middle class existence, we never had a lot of money, it was paycheck to paycheck with my parents and they always worried about how to pay the bills. But I was 1) born in the modern world in the USA and 2) always had a roof over my head and food on the table. Those two facts alone put me in the top 1% of humanity. I never worried about where I would sleep. I never had to raise my children in such conditions that I had to bring them with me to sell goods to foreigners on the streets in order to survive.


I could have been born into a life that was exponentially harder, in a different time or different country. This fact is imprinted on my soul and the foundation of much of my gratitude. With this understanding comes a longing to lift up others who did not win the birth lottery.


I think about what choices I can make today, how I spend my money, where I spend my time, and what ways I show up in the world that can reduce the suffering of others less fortunate. Do you think about this too?