Better, Bonus or Burden?

After a week of absence I better make sure I finish this blog off properly having blogged daily for an entire month while Living Below the Line and travelling 1000 miles – as much as possible on foot, cycle or pool!

For me in the aftermath I have been looking at everything with the Live Below the Line lens still firmly attached… The first shop post Live Below the Line was with fellow Global Poverty Project co-worker and also month-long Live Below the Line’er, Albert.

We knew we could buy and eat anything we wanted but out habits, thought processes and humility kept it strangly simple. Once had bout some essentials like a six pack of beer, soda water and corn flakes everything from there seems like an excess so we got some lentils, root vegetables and other typical Live Below the Line cusine for cooking.

In hindsight it was quite bizzar we were so programmed to only grab the bare essentials and didn’t even think about the chocolate, dairy, pizzas etc… In the days since then slowly but surely I have managed to get back onto a high calory diet and relished being able to have fresh fruit and vegetables.

The main post LBL thoughts running through my head have been around is having access to everything better, a bonus or a burden? Here is the categorization of my thoughts…

Better

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • More nutrients, vitamins, nutrition variety

Bonus

  • Choice of some things so they are better choices such as organic, ethical, Fairtrade, locally produced, smaller more local shops not just the cheapest
  • Being able to have enough calories to run! I love running but could not run while doing Live Below the Line as it is too much energy expenditure in a short period while trying to travel x km’s each day

Bonus: water with bubbles – my luxury in life!

Burden

  • Having the expectation to fit back into the excess culture again, people accepted my simplicity when doing the challenge but it is virtually impossible to be accepted if that is your way of life choice…
  • Feeling the consumer pressure of eating bad food and to excess
  • Not appreciating time in the same light when walking, cooking, preparing, etc
  • Less human contact or contact that is very prescribed out at dinner or drinks – Live Below the Line lets you have social / community interaction without having to plan it or pay to do it – it just happens naturally…
  • Needing constant artificial entertainment and pleasure. Under Live Below the Line you create your own fun and don’t rely upon stimulation or rewards, or if you do they are very simple but meaningful like an egg once a week
  • Being oppressed and spoken to by advertising, which 99% of it is for making you feel inadequate – you switch off to this when Living Below the Line

I cannot say how much I feel we are living in an opposite, and for me in particular, less fulfilling world when I am NOT Living Below the Line. I find it incredible that the life outside of Live Below the Line is normal in western society and that someone choosing to do Live Below the Line is the crazy one.

This is a pretty good representation of what I am talking about… how bout the same amount of calories in bananas for that price?

We live in excess that I believe is mostly not for the betterment of our society, culture and environment. I have got a lot things out of the 5 weeks of Living Below the Line such as understanding the topics and issues of the extreme poor, the inspiration a campaign like this provides and how we can learn more and take action to see a more equitable world but overall it is more about the reflection on the society I was in while doing Live Below the Line that was significant for me.

My simplistic ideologies and ways of living have been growing in the past few years but in the 5 weeks of Living Below the Line I have found the practical ways and habits to perpetuate this for the betterment of the way I live, the others around me and the nature I must live with-in. To be sustainable is not enough I strive to be a net contributor to my society and environment and love that Live Below the Line has given me so many practical applications to do this.

So in a second to last blog before I refer you all back to my ‘normal’ slightly frequent (about once a week and a half) blog: http://lunny06.wordpress.com  – I believe in fighting extreme poverty ABSOLUTELY but I also strongly believe and practice learning and living from the way they are forced to live so we can choose equality not only by ‘helping the poor people’ but joining them as best we can for our own, societies and the environments betterment.

I like this!

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The Global Wealth Project…

Day 16

  • 21km walk from White Rock, Canada to Samiahmoo Marina, USA – or 1 mile if I was allowed to swim or could fly…

    The little bit of green on the other side of the water is a short swim or 20km + walk!

  • Breakfast: BIG bowl of oats, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, cut up dried orange peel, teaspoon of nutritional yeast and boiling water

    Very apt sign for my day and all days of Living Below the Line

  • Lunch: ½ cold potato twice at different times, some bok choy and my last sardine
  • Dinner: Macaroni and cheese as a tribute to leaving Canada. Was loving those preservatives, they taste soooo good…

    Ahhh preservative goodness!

Love walking to cross a border as it makes the experience more thoughtful and exciting!

 

The volunteering and work I do for the Global Poverty Project is great and I am very passionate about seeing every human in the world have access to enough food, clean water, health, education and a fulfilling livelihood.

Still one of my greatest other passions is simplicity and live life more with less (as you will have gathered from this blog…).

My post today isn’t to harp on again about simplicity but to acknowledge the work I am doing with the Global Poverty Project which has taught me a lot about life and creating change. For many years based on the experiences I had in developing countries from around the world I would be judgmental, highly opinionated, critical, dogmatic, guilt charged and ready to criticize anything and everything about the developed world and how ‘rich’ we are… I generally now only reserve this for my family and friends!

I always felt like I was fighting the system and it was usually to people who already thought the same way or would turn off those as I was putting myself on higher moral ground. Since joining the Global Poverty Project in 2009 I have learnt to work within the system and give an inoffensive message and options for those who wish to take it on. Kind of laying out the topics, issues and actions on the table and up to others to try or ignore with no expectations.

It has been a very powerful and significant journey for me and I have really come across a lot of people who now know I am not to guilt them, smash them with a moral bat or ask them to do what I am doing from a moral high-ground!

As much as I would love to be trying to sell the message of ‘the best in the world is with less (when you get to choose)’ it is very difficult to tell people what NOT to do than offer simple small opportunities to change in their lives for the better of all. I have great respect for those people and organisations who are there to point the finger at consumerism, profit over people, materialism, etc and we need them for those who are ready to move along the spectrum into that realm.

I think if we can work from both angles of working inside out and outside in we can meet at a common ground that has everyone living with enough but not too much– that is my Global Wealth Project… not sure if I will have many followers though! This is leading on to something that has been a great part of this Live Below the Line experience – how to advocate without making people feel crap – next episode…

My accommodation for the night!

Life on a boat seems pretty luxurious but it pretty simple when living on one - just beautiful!