It’s the morning of day 6, and I confess that last night I was already starting to re-examine why I’ve chosen to stick with this $1.25/day thing for a full month. Thirty days is kind of arbitrary, and other poverty line awareness campaigns such as Live Below the Line (https://www.livebelowtheline.com/us/thankyou) only ask people to reduce their food expenditure for five days.
So let’s get real. I’ve been thinking…
- Although the first five days were relatively easy, eating the same bland food each day is starting to get old. I need more vegetables in my life.
- Since I’m going to visit family in a week or two, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be offered Ethiopian food, kale chips, and Synergy. I never say no to Ethiopian food, kale chips, and Synergy.
- I’m going to be out of town for at least part of each of the next three weekends, and this diet is kind of inconvenient. Because coffee in SF. And taco trucks in LA. And beer back home with friends. And gum!!!
- Explaining the $1.25/day thing to people who don’t know me is kind of difficult. Heck, I think it’ll be kind of hard to explain to my family, especially because they are incredibly sweet and will want to make me whatever I want for dinner for my birthday (in a couple of weeks).
What am I trying to prove, anyways? What’s the point?
Mulling this over has really just underscored the fact that I can choose to walk away from this at any time while others can’t. If I stopped now when it gets hard, I won’t walk away with as much of an appreciation for what I have. Life will go back to its normal rhythm. I like shaking things up a bit and gaining a new perspective on things, so I want to hold off on that a bit longer. I want to finish what I started. OBVIOUSLY living in poverty is inconvenient. More than that, it means that your quality of life is significantly lower than the American standard. I considered all the bullet points listed above when I began this, and I knew that there would be no other time when this experiment would be more convenient. I knew that I hate drawing much attention to myself but that explaining this whole thing to some people would be necessary in certain situations; however, I also knew that I really wanted to do this anyway. And my family and friends will love me even if they think I’m being weirder than usual. Plus I can save the kale chips and Synergy for September 10th. 😀
Methods for calculating the threshold for poverty typically vary by country. While the poverty line is computed uniquely in the United States (see https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/measure.html), we do know that 1 in 7 Americans do not reach the minimum threshold of income required to afford the average cost-of-living (see http://www.nclej.org/poverty-in-the-us.php). These articles I’m coming across are eye-opening, but there’s the “so now what” piece missing…what can we do about it? I think that’s what I’ll focus on next.
Love always ❤