So, the Live Below the Line challenge. I promised a reflection and some wise thoughts on social justice or the like.
I don’t think I have anything of great import to reflect on though. Of course, the fact that I was surrounded by food but couldn’t actually eat it can be compared to the fact that the planet actually has enough food to feed everyone but our inequitable systems means that too many people starve (too many=anyone).
It was a good way to raise money, I admit. I’m generally uncomfortable in asking people for money at any time, but there was something in the fact that I was doing it fairly tough for a week that made me feel a little more…worthy? The fact is I felt more comfortable in asking people to sponsor me and raised over $800 which I was thrilled with. So thank you, all. There was certainly a lot of feedback that my friends 1) felt guilty that they wouldn’t be able do the same thing so they donated or 2) felt really, really sorry for me and though that a donation might be what I needed to pep me up.
Guilt and Pity. Highly undervalued human motivations.
As for the ‘experience’ itself, well, I was a bit hungry and really bored. It wasn’t really comparable to actually living in poverty. So much so that it doesn’t merit discussion.
I personally found it emotionally hard more than anything- I’m used to eating to cover up all sorts of feelings so it was probably more unpleasant for the other people around me who had to deal with me andd my feeeelings. (No worries though, I’m back on the chocolate now.)
With so many charities competing for a given amount of Australia’s hard earned cash, it makes sense to come up with new ideas, ‘gimmicks’ if you like, and the Live Below the Line challenge is a great idea. Next year though, I think I’ll just donate $800 myself and pray for those who are doing it 😉