We won’t have peace until we correct the gross inequalities that plague
our world. The United Nations Annual Report on Human Development notes
that more than one billion people "suffer human deprivation and stunted
lives marked by illiteracy, inadequate income and exclusion from the social
The world’s 235 richest people have a combined wealth of more than $1 trillion.
This amount equals what 47% of the world’s population (2.5 billion people)
have as income. The 3 richest people on the planet have assets that exceed
the gross national products of the 48 poorest nations. Europeans and Americans
spend $37 billion each year on pet food, perfumes and cosmetics. That staggering
sum is enough to provide education, water and sanitation, basic health
and nutrition to all who now live in deprivation of these basic human necessities
and still leave $9 billion for cat food, Chanel #5 and hair gel! If we
want peace, if we believe in nonviolence, then we must work to end these
inequalities. We are all impoverished by this unbridled greed and spectacular
conspicuous consumption while others starve.
- Ken Peters