It is the best of times. It is a time of plentitude in the United States. It is a time when malls are overcrowded, lines form at fashionable restaurants, teenagers buy the latest in clothing. It is a time when loving parents give their children everything they didn't have. It is a time when those who aren't employed are provided for by the state. It is a time in a land where opportunity beckons at every corner.
It is the worst of times. It is a time of famine and suffering in many countries, such as East Timor, Somalia, and Ethiopia. It is a time when people have nowhere to turn for basic needs, nowhere to go to find proper nutrition, nowhere to look for comfort and warmth. It is a time when people live in bleak despair and hopelessness.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.
In the United States, people are driving the SUV's, guzzling extraordinary amounts of gas, being part of the crowd. In East Timor, most people live on $0.55 per day. In Somalia, the average person earns $106 per year -- about 2 weeks worth of gas for an SUV. In the United States, mothers spend much of their time at their childrens' schools, volunteering for bookfairs and fundraisers and ensuring the best education possible. In Ethiopia, more than 50% of males and females over the age of 15 are illiterate.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. In the United States, people are living the poverty of affluence, while terrorists are plotting to take it all away.