The Material Possessions Gap

Sam Rainer

November 5, 2008

From the Pew Research Center: people perceive others have more than they really do.

Presented with a list of high-end consumer goods and services, and asked whether they have them and whether they believe most other people have them, most Americans tend to over-estimate what most other families have; for example, more than six-in-ten (62%) believe that most families have a high definition television, whereas just 42% of all adults say that their family has one. Similarly, about a quarter (24%) of respondents believe that most people have a child in private school, though only 15% of parents with school age children report having a child in private school.


These statistics are not surprising, but it made me think of how blessed I am. Many people in the United States and worldwide are struggling with keeping homes, getting fed, and caring for children. A great number of people across the globe live on less than $2 per day. I am too often guilty of wanting the next thing. Reading this research I was convicted – I should pour more energy into the Great Commission and less into the great accumulation.

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