Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Birds and man

The Wall Street Journal reported a couple of years ago that Americans spend $2.6 billion on birdseed, two and a half times as much as they spend on food for needy nations. While it’s amazing that we spend so much on wild birds, it’s astounding that we spend so much less on fellow human beings in need.

In a way, the disparity is understandable. The birds are right here, fascinating and cute. The world’s poor are distant, unknown and unpleasant.

The fact is, however, birds don’t even need our help, but the poor do. Many agencies aid the world’s needy, both by providing food and by teaching people skills they need to feed themselves. CARE, Catholic Relief Services, AmeriCares, Lutheran World Relief, and Save the Children are just a few. To help others, they need our help.

As we enter a new year, let’s vow to straighten out our priorities. Feed the birds, if you wish, but for every dollar you spend on birdseed, spend five or ten more on people in need.

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