What if your survival depended, essentially, on the “dollar store”?
How might it feel to be among the 2.7 billion people living on less than two US dollars per day, or the over one billion people living on a daily average income of one dollar or less per day? And these United Nations statistics reveal only one aspect of the struggle of poverty, as for many it also “means having to walk more than one mile everyday simply to collect water and firewood; it means suffering diseases that were eradicated from rich countries decades ago.” According the the UN, “every year eleven million children die – most under the age of five and more than six million from completely preventable causes like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.”
Let that sink in for a moment: 11 million children – innocent children – dying each year because they were born into abject poverty.
I just watched a moving documentary entitled Living On One Dollar that had me asking myself: “how long could I survive on a dollar a day?” In the film, the four young Americans who undertook the challenge of living on one buck a day in the poverty-stricken area of Pena Blanca, Guatemala did not have it easy during their eight week stay. They would have been hard-pressed to even make it that long had it not been for the compassion of their new neighbors and fast friends who lived this one-dollar economy every day of their lives – and did so with dignity and self-respect…. and dreams of better lives.
I’m thinking differently about money right now. I’m thinking I could certainly waste less and give more. I’m thinking about how far love can go, even in the “dollar store”.
If thoughts about money have been getting you down, check out http://livingononedollar.org and let the gratitude flow.
Value the day!