Ever since the end of the world wars, the United States has become the most powerful and wealthy nation in history. Why are we so blessed? While in college, my youngest daughter Laura was spending her junior year abroad in southern India. She was shocked by the grinding poverty and the everyday difficulty of life there, especially in comparison to her simple but comfortable childhood here in Dolores and Cortez. So in a letter, she asked plaintively, “Dad, why are we so blessed in the USA, while so many people around the world are suffering?” And now, when I think of the children of Central America and their families who are faced with such violence and poverty that they would take any risk to escape to the United States, I pose the same question: Why are we so blessed, compared to our neighbors to the South?
Having met many people while traveling in Nicaragua and Honduras, I know that it is certainly not because I am a better person. So why am I so blessed? After thinking carefully, I feel that the answer is clear, and it has always been so. When our creator blesses us uniquely with peace and prosperity – or any other gift, such as musical talent – it is so that we can share those blessings with others. Our peace and prosperity – like beautiful sunsets, rainbows, and like glorious music – are gifts that are best enjoyed by sharing them. Why watch a glorious sunset alone? We all instinctively try to find someone to share it with. It is in the nature of blessings. That is the best reason I can find to explain why we are so blessed. That’s what I told Laura, too.