09 August, 2010

Conclusion to the $2 challenge

Sorry all, I have been without net and time.

I want to conclude my thoughts on the $2 a day challenge.

On the second last day, I decided to increase the difficulty. I left home without my wallet. It is one thing to pretend to be poor, knowing that if anything went slightly wrong that day, you would have a credit card to fix it. But to give yourself no option of cash was an exciting addition to the challenge. I remember blogging on a similar lesson when my husband and I were stranded in America and in dire need of medical attention. We were faced with the likelihood of a ten thousand dollar or more procedure, and were judging whether to risk it (despite the fact that infection had set in) or pay the money. I remember being thankful for my 'rainy day' savings, while at the same time wondering what on earth those without a spare ten thousand dollars would do.

My friend made it through the challenge successfully, however on one day, when hit hard with a migraine, she was able to relieve the pain with medication. While this wasn't against the rules, it did bring home the great security of medical care, even in the simplest form of pain relief. We are able to live through some of the most complex diseases and horrific accidents in the western world. We are able to prolong life beyond all reasonable expectations. While in the developing world, lives are still lost to what should be benign dieseases such as malaria and diahorrea.

On the final day, I spent money. Not on food, but on an item of clothing I needed (seriously!) And so, I am thinking about doing the challenge once more, but without a credit card altogether.

I encourage you to take up the challenge...for a week, or a day. For me, the challenge enabled great clarity on some basic welfare and community development principles, and also gave me some solidarity with the poor, even if only in the most limited sense. If you do, please write your experiences on the blog, or on the Justsalvos Facebook page so we can learn from your journey.

And, check out http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/sstv/ for the latest edition of Just Salvos Live (that wasn't that live today!)

Good times,

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