Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. -Philippians 4:8 NAB

Thursday, May 26, 2011

No power this morning? We're so lucky!

I was originally going to write today about our experience of having the power shut off (a rarity) this morning as there was some needed maintenance performed on the power lines in our neighborhood.  I thought of the many ways this could be a positive experience, especially for my oldest -- who was quite tearful when the power was cut during the middle of her VeggieTales show.  I reflected on the numerous things we could do that didn't require power, and was thankful to have a forced opportunity to teach gratitude in the blessings we do have.  I was going to write about all these things, right after I checked my e-mail.  And then I checked my e-mail.

I subscribe to a weekly newsletter from an organization called Population Research Institute and happened to receive their latest today, after my power flicked back on.  After reading today's post, I decided that my measly little sacrifice of 4 hours without power paled in comparison to the sufferings of people halfway around the world.  For those who don't know, there are atrocities such as forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and human trafficking that occurs in China as a result of its very strict "One Child Only" policy.  Unfortunately, certain organizations find the "battle against overpopulation" to be ideally modeled by the Chinese (communist) government's atrocious policies and coercive enforcement methods.

I find it interesting, too, that there was a recent post by fave blogger Jennifer Fulwiler (who also blogs here) that took a lighthearted look at the subject of "overpopulation."  (For an enlightening, and at times entertaining, snapshot at other people's views on the subject, be sure to read the 200+ comments on that post.)  Personally, I get blown away every time someone suggests that the answer to the problems supposedly caused by overpopulation is to decrease the population.  These problems, of course, usually occur in very poor parts of the world, where the governments of wealthy countries haven't seen a good enough reason (i.e., enough important resources) to send meaningful aid.  Difficulties such as lack of good food, clean water, appropriate medicine, and suitable clothing and shelter are all problems that could merely be solved if "all these poor people would just stop having so many babies."  And so, entities such as the U.N., W.H.O., and Planned Parenthood (among others) decide to swoop in with the "benevolent" intention of lowering the birth rate by handing out all manner of contraception.  (The logical conclusion, of course, is where China currently sits.)

What always puzzles me, though, is that I have yet to receive an answer from an "overpopulationist" that can explain to me how it is better to tell people in impoverished conditions that it is better for them to accept articial birth control (and therefore fewer children) than to accept clean water and adequate food (which is, by the way, cheaper and causes less waste and environmental pollution).

But I digress... from a practical standpoint, I would like to take the money we saved from not using any power today for 4 hours and send it to some family in need, though I'm not exactly sure how.  (I really don't have a clue on how to quantify how much the electricity we didn't use would have cost us.)  If any of you have some insight, let me know.  If I can figure it out, I'll update my post.  In the meantime, I will look with gratitude upon my three children (especially the one I can't yet see) and upon all the resources I so easily take for granted.


  1. Re: determining electricity usage - could you compare last month's bill with this month's and send the difference? Not sure how accurate that is, but may be a good start.

    Unless you're on budget billing, then nevermind about that. ;)

  2. I think I can review the actual usage in kWh or dkT, but I seriously don't know how to translate that since it's all lumped in month to month... Will keep thinking on it, though. ;-)