“As soon as you rise above mere survival, the question of meaning and purpose becomes of paramount importance in your life.” -- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
I use this quote in the new book I'm writing but came here to discuss the implications of this statement for 1.3 billion people who live in extreme poverty in the world today. DoSomething.org states on their website in an article titled 11 Facts About Global Poverty, "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 — less than $1.25 a day." The article also states, "805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat."
Do these individuals have room to pursue purpose of life? Do they have enough distance from their problems to see past human needs?
No, based on Tolle's statement, they do not.
Is this always the truth? We have all heard stories of people coming from absolutely nothing to make something out of themselves. The statement then hinges on the personal meaning of survival, some needing more than others.
My last observation is our belief here in America, our faith in capitalism. The individual always needs something more, new, or better. If we, Americans provided with so much opportunity, living on more than $2.50 a day, are always in pursuit of this kind of survival can we ever rise above merely "surviving" to find meaning and purpose?