Latitude Lottery

(Wrote this one day when it was weighing particularly heavily on my heart. It’s not a poem, it’s not a story…it’s just what I was feeling.)

It’s not okay, it’s just not all right. Baby Jonathan lost his fight for life. It’s not okay, it’s just not all right. It’s all in the luck of the latitude.

I can’t forget what I’ve seen and I can’t sit by and do nothing. Some say it’s not our fight.  “We have enough problems here, we don’t need to worry about people half way around the world.” Well, aren’t they just winners in the latitude lottery!

I clean my dishes in a magic box. Wash and dry my clothes with no effort. I get my water from a bottle and I don’t always drink it all. My fridge is stocked with food and a quarter of it will probably go to waste.

My Joshua woke up crying the other day. His throat was sore and he couldn’t swallow. I sent him back to bed and called the doctor. They saw me that morning. By noon he was on antibiotics for strep throat.

What if my African friend, Joshua wakes up with a sore throat? What will happen to him?Will his mom be able to take him to a doctor? No…there are no doctors anywhere close. Even if she could get him to a doctor, would they have the simple strep test that my Josh had access to? No. But even if they did, would they have the antibiotics to treat it? No.

What a wealth of things we take for granted. Why are we so lucky? Why are they so poor? It’s not okay, it’s just not all right. I have means and I am responsible to do something about this injustice of the latitude lottery. I am thankful that I drew the numbers I did…but I can no longer just live here in the land of plenty. I have to tell others what I’ve seen…who I’ve met. They have names. They are not just faces on a video. They are someone’s children. And they are dying. It’s not okay. It’s just not all right.

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