Live Below The Line: Days 4 & 5

LBTL 2014

As the week comes to a close and I prepare to eat my last meal of the Live Below The Line Challenge (a bowl of spaghetti noodles with a side of beans and a clementine for desert) I cannot help but feel somber, emotional and without appetite.

These last few days have been an incredible time of reflection for me. The experience of trying to live on just £1 ($1.75 CDN) of food for a week has incredibly heightened my awareness to the problems of poverty that exist in our world. The sad reality is that, statistics show 1.22 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, not just for their food (as I have tried to do) but for all their expenses.

It would be a lie to say that I am not hungry, edgy, irritable and tired due to the shift in gears my body has faced with a much less balanced diet than usual. It would be equally untrue to suggest that I am not looking forward to breakfast tomorrow ~ brown sugar on my oatmeal, honey in my tea and a warmed banana muffin baked by my daughters this afternoon….oh and a glass of whole milk!

But ~ there is a deep sadness running through me now, as I envision eating that breakfast. It sours my palate, sticks in my throat and sits uneasy in my stomach. A sadness somewhat spiced with guilt, humility and fear, but not without sprinklings of thankfulness, hope and determination.

Tonight I am asking myself what I will do to keep better balance in my life. What will I do to work harder in the cause of alleviating the hunger of others? What practical, daily routine will I set into play within my own life that will keep me from contributing to the ongoing imbalance in our world?

Tonight, as I make my evening tea with this morning’s dry teabag and my last few crumbs of milk powder, I will think and write on such ideas, which I know will involve a much more conscientious tightening of my own belt.

Thank you to those of you who supported me with your comments, hoots, hollers and especially your donations toward the cause. Together we raised £761 ($1,408.98 CDN) for Made in Europe‘s hunger campaign. Tallies for all that has been raised by the Live Below The Line initiative will be announced soon.

But hunger in our world will sadly still persist… until all of us assess our needs form our wants and try harder to live more in balance ~ so justice and fairness may reach all humanity.

Categories: Community, Personal Philosophy, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Simple Living

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3 thoughts on “Live Below The Line: Days 4 & 5

  1. Zara

    Respect !

  2. neen

    Salam brother dawud. We need to simply break away from an evil capitalist system that has kept the rich richer and immune with insurances and the poor to grow poorer. Allah teaches us in surah rahman that he has created a just balance n that we must not transgress. Allah has shown his mercy which we cannot deny but we as humans have become heartless self centered individuals who simply don’t feel that pain for others n yet we r the ones causing all the heartache n suffering by using these hard currencies. Its no wonder Allah declared war from himself and the prophet for one who consumes riba. The sunna money was silver n gold dirham n dinars n if there was a shortage then food like wheat and salt that has a shelf life was used so that we could fairly trade amonsgst ourselves, providing an equal n just opportunity for all. Islam appears to some to be nothing but a code of rules and regulations. But to those who understand it, its a perfect vision of life.

  3. Greetings of peace Neen,

    Thank you for your comment. Though I personally lean more toward communist ideals and agree that capitalism has it’s flaws as a social system, “evil” is a strong word with a dogmatic sound that doesn’t resonate with me. “Imbalanced” and “corrupt” are perhaps the descriptions I would use when defining things like “Capitalism”, or even commonly horrible implementations of Communism we’ve seen in our time for that matter. What I have been reflecting upon a great deal over the years is how the maintaining of justice, balance and fairness in our world is work we must all struggle at consistently. First and foremost, that begins with each of us reassessing the decisions we make in our lives ~ how we earn, how we spend, how we waste… Thus, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Surat Al Rehman and it’s very clear injunction that human beings keep the balance of God’s creation. In fact, in recent years, that particular verse has been a mantra for me as I fight to keep from losing balance in my own life. You may want to watch this interview here if you have some time. In it, I reflect upon balance and the need to work hard for it.

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