After reading the July 6 article, "What it's like to live on a $1 a day," I was amazed by Selina Bonefesi and humbled by my own ignorance and materialism. I sit daily in front of my computer, wondering where my next $1 will go. Will I have enough for the $170 worn out jeans at GUESS?
I know there is poverty in the world, but I felt that as only one individual, I couldn't make a difference.
Selina's story struck a nerve - what a strong, courageous woman. I would love to buy enough of Selina's fritters to see that she has enough money to carry her through not only this year, but next, so that she has "extra" money for treats for her children.
We all need to take a closer look at our own lives, our values, and our purpose. Instead of wanting more, we should be more thankful; instead of wanting to sport the latest fashion, we should want to ease life for someone else.
Thank you Selina - you don't know me, but your story impacted and impressed me greatly.
Comfortable, middle-class Americans like myself were surely taken by surprise by the proportion of income a family in extreme poverty can devote to savings.
By my tabulation, the Malawian family featured in the article saves 38 percent of their net business annual income. Think how different our lifestyles would be if American families saved, on average, anywhere near this proportion.
By contributing a much lower percentage of our incomes than the Malawian family's 38 percent, Americans could fund serious large-scale development and debt reform efforts needed to improve the future of the world's poorest families.
Regarding the July 5 article, "Noncitizen soldiers: the quandaries of foreign-born troops": The United States has been using foreign-born soldiers since inception. Many who fought in the Revolutionary War were born elsewhere, and immigrants also served in the Civil War.
This country should allow a streamlined process for members of the armed forces to become citizens. Requirements should remain, but the government should make the process faster for soldiers if they are qualified in all other respects.
These foreign-born soldiers should remember that now the US is their country. If they want to be accepted, they must be loyal to their new home. As the article says, we accept Mexican-born soldiers as Americans. Flying a Mexican flag to proclaim culture is fine, but not for a display of national loyalty.
Granada Hills, Calif.
Today's recruiting numbers reflect the sad fact that many young Americans who enjoy the comforts of home do not have the intestinal fortitude to join their fellow Americans in the fight against terrorism. They take for granted that they live in the United States of America and are unwilling to suffer the hardships it takes to defend the way of life they enjoy.
If we offered immigrant visas in exchange for military service, we'd be unable to manage the flood of applications. Foreign-born volunteers would happily line up outside of recruiting offices for the mere opportunity of living the "American Dream."
I would consider any legal immigrant that defends this nation more American than people sitting on their couches at home or parents and teachers who shield young people from the military recruiters.
Capt. Jon Caton
Army Reserve Officer
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