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What would you be willing to do for $10,000,000-00? In their book, The Day America Told the Truth, James Patterson and Peter Kim reveal some shocking statistics about how far people in this country are willing to go for ten million.
Would abandon their entire family (25%)
Would abandon their church (25%)
Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)
Would give up their American citizenship (16%)
Would leave their spouses (16%)
Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)
Would kill a stranger (7%)
Would put their children up for adoption (3%)
Paul Galloway, writing for the Chicago Tribune in the fall of 1992, described a “striking linguistic comparison between William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Chicago playwright David Mamet’s Glengary Glen Ross, noting that while both treat human greed and ambition, they are exactly 232 obscenities apart. Shakespeare managed to muddle his way through without a single blankety-blank, while Mamet managed his Herculean 232 blankety-blanks with an astonishing 152 variations of his favorite vulgarity.”
Michael G. Moriarty, The Perfect 10: The Blessings of Following God’s Commandments in a Post Modern World, p. 89
NO ONE IS EXEMPT FROM SIN
Of course, many of us think we are exempt from this darkness, that it always belongs somewhere else and never enters into our lives. You often hear it on the news when something bad has happened, like a murder: the TV reporter interviews a resident, who says "Well, I never thought it could happen in our neighborhood." But it did and does. It can be a murder, a terrorist plot, a pedophile ring, somebody on a charge of tax evasion, benefit cheats, drug dealers, child abusers, family adultery, greed, lies, stealing, resentment, pain, suffering, and eventually death--it goes on in all our streets and in all our homes because darkness has entered into our world and into our hearts also.
You and I were born into that darkness. Many people don't believe that. In fact, in a Barna poll, 74% of people interviewed said that people were born neither good nor bad (Forward in Christ, Dec. 2002, p. 28). That illustrates how thick the darkness is. We don't realize how lost and helpless we naturally are, even though God's word plainly says, "Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5 NIV).
What are you willing to do for $10,000,000? In 1991 James Patterson and Peter Kim, in their book The Day America Told the Truth, reported a survey where that question was asked. Two-thirds of Americans polled would agree to at least one, some to several of the following:
Would abandon their entire family (25%)_
Would abandon their church (25%)_
Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)_
Would give up their American citizenships (16%)_
Would leave their spouses (16%)_
THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD
After 13 years, Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world. The technology tycoon was not ranked Richest Man in the World for the first time in over a decade. Bill Gates fell from his spot on the top to a lowly number three position. His net worth of $58 Billion only goes to hold a number three spot in the wealth of the world. The wealthiest man alive is a man by the name of Warren Buffett: he is worth $62 billion dollars. Poor Bill Gates might need to go out and get a job before he ends up begging on the streets. Not quite.
There are almost 200 countries whose Gross National Product is less than $58 Billion. That means there are at least three people who have more money by themselves then almost 200 nations produce in goods and services in an entire year.
Can you imagine what you would do with $58 billion? Thats almost too big to calculate. So let's break it down. Lets say that Bill Gates wants to spend all his money before he dies. He is almost 53 years old. Lets say he lives for another 20 years. To spend all of his money before he died he would have to spend 2.9 Billon dollars a year. Thats still kind of big for more most of us to picture, so lets break it down more: if you divide that 2.9 billion by 365 days in a year, you are left with $7,945,205 to spend every day. That's a huge number. So lets make it smaller: take that by 24 hours in a day. In order to spend everything he has now, if he did not make another penny while he was alive, Bill Gates would have to spend $331,050 per hour, or $5517.50 a minute, or $92 every second. That just sounds unreal.
Over two hundred million children around the world, some as young as four and five years old, are slaves. A majority of the children work in Asia, especially in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia--slaving away to make goods for us to buy in K-Mart and Wal-Mart... "Child slave labor [is] used to produce chocolate in the Ivory Coast. It produces 43 percent of the world’s cocoa beans ... harvested and processed by captive children between the ages of 12 and 14, and sometimes younger."
[Immaculata High School Child Slave Labor News]
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Money magazine declared money was the number one obsession of Americans. Newsweek reports there is a new plane of consciousness called "transcendental acquisition." Its cover story of 8/27/01 tells of a woman saddled with debt who charged a diving trip to French East Indies. Instead of trying to break free, it's as if she's given up. She said, "I’ve spoiled myself and can’t change my habits."
Advertisers say if we buy more products, we’ll be happier, fulfilled, comfortable, popular, cooler. Yet they never warn of excess or hint that having things won’t make us happy. 34% of Americans in 2000 ranked shopping as their favorite activity! 70% visit malls ...