Many Americans take things for granted, including myself. Although I have grown up in a low, single income family, I still take advantage of the things I have been blessed with. Even though my family is considered to be “poor” or “financially unstable” in today’s society, my family is “richer” than the majority of people living in our world today. Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population (more than 3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, that's less than $1.25 a day. Many Americans drink $2.50 worth of coffee or pop a day without even adding in the cost of gas, food, water, electricity, and much more that they use up. Can you imagine going to bed hungry? Unable to sleep because your stomach hurts so bad because it is aching to get something in it? 870 million people in our world do not have enough food to eat.  Hunger is the number 1 cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. People, including myself, throw away food because we do not like it, because it does not look appealing, or because it is left over and is not fresh. It leaves me speechless to think that a human being is about to die of hunger and the food we threw away could have given them a chance to survive.

What I want you to do is to think about the things you use in your every day life and use them sparingly. Be grateful for what you have and do not take them for granted, no matter how easy it is. Whether it is simply taking the amount of food you know you can finish at dinner, being grateful and thankful for the things you have, or spending $45 a month to sponsor a child so they do not have to worry about going to bed hungry, try your best to show appreciation for our world. A few dollars or a conservation of things can save a life.

Yours truly,
Madison Johnson

Miss Teen North Dakota 2014 

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