Last Friday, people from 44 states in the U.S. spent nearly $1.5 billion on Mega Millions tickets. This is equivalent to nearly $5 for every man, woman and child in the USA. In Maryland alone, a record $11.8 million was spent on lottery tickets Friday. In some places where lottery tickets were sold, there were up to 3 hours wait with lines of people wrapping around the blocks. Each person dreamt of winning the jackpot of $640 million. But they have only a one in 176 million chance of winning.
About a month early in Sanford, Florida, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an African American, was walking from a convenience store to the home of is father’s girlfriend. He was shot and killed by, 28-year-old, George Zimmerman, a man of mixed ethnicity (Peruvian and White American). Zimmerman was a community watch coordinator of the neighborhood. He was arrested and questioned and then released without charges.
Through the network of social media, this little known case gained national attention precipitating the “Million Hoodies March” in Union Square in New York City, on March 21 and over 2 million people demanded Zimmerman’s arrest via a Change.org petition by Martin’s mother. By Friday, the day of the Mega Million Mania, CNN and all the major newsletter networks were running stories on the case.
We witnessed 2 ways of mobilizing resources: one has to do with the flow of billions of dollars converging at liquor stores, convenience stores, mini-markets, newsstands, etc. for a very slim chance of financial return, and the other has to do the flow of information and relationships energized by the passion for justice and truth for one young man walking from a convenience store. One depended on chance with the vast majority disappointed on Monday; the other was planned for the result of concrete actions for justice and truth – the arrest of Zimmerman and reopening the case.
These two events prove to me that there is an abundance of resources – relationship, truth and even money. We just need to have a plan to mobilize them. What if we combine the ability for people to come up with $1.5 billion a day with the networking ability fueled by the passion for truth and wellness for our local communities? How many jobs can we create? How many homes can we save from foreclosure? How many scholarships can we offer young men and women for greater education? How many job-training centers can we establish? How many community gardens can we plant? How many homes can we power with clean energy such as solar? How many community organizations can we create that will sustain the people in our community socially, physically and spiritually?
As we move toward Easter and Passover this week, don't leave your resources up to chance. The children of Israel did not leave slavery in Egypt by chance; they planned their exodus toward freedom with God through Moses. Jesus did not die on the cross on Good Friday by chance; he planned it with God so that his followers would learn what it meant to be children of God on Easter day. So, be a sustainist, and plan how you use your resources through networking with others, investing them into the flow of resources that will sustain you, your families and your communities.
P.S. Don’t forget to comment on this post by scrolling down and click “Comments.”
Also, on Saturday, check out my video: Easter Meditation
Invite members of your community to gather and explore the connections between their passion and resources:
Reflection Questions for Easter (Year B)
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Eric H. F. Law
For competent leadership in a diverse changing world
Upcoming Opportunities to Study with The Sustainist:
May 4-5, 2012
May 7-11, 2012
Register at: www.kscopeinstitute.org