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…
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- More nutrients, vitamins, nutrition variety
- 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
- 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.
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.