Let us assume (hypothetically) that we created a scale from 1 to 10, against which we plotted our standard of living. Let us also assume (hypothetically) that the scale details were established as below:
1. At risk – No shelter and no available food.
2. At risk – No shelter and food supply unreliable.
3. At risk – Has shelter but no means of income for food.
4. At risk – Has shelter and ability to pan handle for food.
5. Rents shelter and receives charity support.
6. Rents shelter and has income – breaks even.
7. Rents shelter and has income – comfortable.
8. Owns shelter and has income – breaks even.
9. Owns shelter and has income – comfortable.
10. Owns shelter and has income – very comfortable.
All developed countries will have citizens ranging from living on the street and panhandling for an income, through to those who own large houses and have considerable investments. I would like to suggest however that here, and perhaps there, a very large proportion of the population would fall into the range of 7 to 10 on the above scale.
So here’s the question that comes to mind when thinking about people in war torn countries, or in undeveloped countries:
Am I prepared to lower my standard of living, if the result was to raise the standard of living of those people who do not have their basic needs met (per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)?
A large influx of immigrants into any industrialized country may well impact the standard of living there so:
Am I prepared to lower my standard of living a little in order to raise that of others who are less fortunate?
It would seem to come down to whether we have a core belief that the “love thy neighbor” philosophy has merit, or whether we are alive simply to indulge ourselves and care little of anybody else’s circumstances.
Of course the above scale of 1 to 10 is purely hypothetical.
Men, women and children currently in life threatening circumstances are, very sadly, not hypothetical!