An equal share of …. what?

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For the healing of the nations, 

Lord, we pray with one accord;

for a just and equal sharing

of the things that earth affords;

to a life of love in action

help us rise and pledge our word,

help us rise and pledge our word.

The above quotation is verse one of “For the Healing of the Nations”, number 428 in The United Methodist Hymnal. It has a noble sentiment, but I think most people don’t think about the verse broadly enough.

When people talk about the “things that earth affords”, most people think of material things and resources. One country is richer in minerals than another, one has a “monopoly” on some valuable resource, etc.

But it begs the question, how do some resource poor countries end up being so rich? It is because they have an unequal, shall we say, unjust sharing of the work that earth affords. And the work is one resource that we seldom people lobbying to get their fair share of. The fruits of labor yes, but most often without the labor.

So my suggestion is, the next time someone complains about not having their fair share, offer to give them a fair share of your work, and see how fair they feel about it.

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