What if we changed our culture? What if we no longer applauded great wealth at any cost? What if we applauded generosity, compassion, and forgiveness? Yes, it’s easy for me to say these things since I’m not wealthy, but I’m not alone in saying them.
Malcolm is targeting the systems we’ve built, the truths we hold so dear and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we can produce some more heroes. – Seth Godin in review of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book.
From ABC news –
At the age of 14, Hugh Evans spent a night with cockroaches crawling all over him. That experience turned out to be life-changing for Evans, now 30. Far removed from his comfortable home in Australia, he traveled to the Philippines with an aid organization that set him up with a host family. Their home was in Smokey Mountain, a teeming slum in Manila. A boy in the family, Sonny Boy, was the same age as Evans. The disparity between their lives struck him hard. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/05/could-you-live-on-a-dollar-a-day/
In some circles we have improved. But there are enough sub-pockets in our culture that keep the generosity movement bogged down. We are a generous nation and so are people all over the world. You can see groups which care about cleaning up oil spills, those concerned about animal endangerment, and many are helping provide clean water for those in need. But we need to start at the bottom, at the base of society. Our desires. Our ambitions. Our vision of ourselves. There is a level of crud and corrosion that we must clean or we will all drown. We envy and want great wealth because we are afraid. I am afraid. If I don’t get that job, that bonus, that raise, that particular car, I’m afraid I will starve. I will perish. I will not exist anymore. I feel jealous, unloved and abandoned. Over an iPhone that I didn’t get. It’s ridiculous. My whole mindset needs rearranged. I live in a rich country. So rich that I have never missed a meal because of lack. Others around me live the same and yet we feel poor because we don’t have cable television. Or internet. Or whatever latest gadget that someone else has.
There’s an experiment going on all across the world now, or I should say it’s a conversation. It’s called by a variety of names, but in essence it’s living at the poverty level for days or months, voluntarily.
The next post in the continuing frugal gastronomy series features a pair of schoolteacher-writers who gave themselves the toughest of all restrictions: All their food had to cost no more than $1 per day per person. Amazingly, if they invited guests over to eat, the guests’ food had to be covered by the $1 allotment. You’d have to really like the guest, I suppose.
Once again, I’ll repeat: Eating on a budget is not a contest; it’s a conversation.
And the most famous instance is probably Ben Affleck and his challenge from April 29 through May 3, 2013. Could you eat for $1.50 a day?
The challenge is simple: Agree to spend no more than $1.50 on your daily grub from April 29 to May 3. That figure represents “the accepted global figure used to define extreme poverty,” according to The Global Poverty Project, which created the challenge. – Live Below The Line
Some advice from Joe Vigil:
- Practice abundance by giving back
- Improve personal relationships
- Show integrity to your value system
- Eat like a poor person
- 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs (forbes.com)
- How Poverty Taxes the Brain – Emily Badger – The Atlantic Cities (theatlanticcities.com)
- Study Finds Poverty Reduces Brain Power (voanews.com)
- American Poverty (beechler7.wordpress.com)
- Hugh Evans: working to end world poverty (blogs.abc.net.au)
- Poverty in India – an analysis (samartyagi.wordpress.com)
- UK child poverty hits 3.6 million: Report (davidicke.com)