It finally got me. After avoiding it through most of the season, one wily cold bug snuck its way past my defences and sent me packing to my bed. Oh well. It’s never to early in the year to spend a few days in bed… right?
So there I was, in bed with my box of tissues watching the Golden Globes, when my (totally legal!) stream got unfairly shut down and I was forced to turn to the embrace of my ever-constant friend… Netflix.
In a delicate place, and not really wanting to be stressed out by the antics of those fast-talking Gilmore Girls, I found my way to the documentary section and settled on “Living On One Dollar”; a film made by a couple of international development students who go to Guatemala and try to live on the average local income: 1 dollar a day. So yeah, basically the equivalent to watching drunken celebs congratulate each other and their altruistic industry, I’d say.
The movie is exactly what you’d expect. Wide-eyed college guys learning lessons. Heartbreaking local stories. And the cutest children ever who are just so eager to learn.
But the number stuck with me. 1 dollar a day. That’s the international poverty line. So many people live precariously hovering around that line. And here I am talking about how poor I am.
I’m not poor.
I’m not even close to poor.
I am rich! Not only in time and money, but in the wealth of choices that have been afforded to me all my life just by being lucky enough to be born where I was.
There’s very little most of us can do to understand, truly understand, what it means to be poor… what it means to struggle in the ways that so many people in the world struggle.
So it’s hard to know what to do when faced with the earnest faces of those children. How do you help? Where do you even start?
Practically, I’m inspired to give in some way. (I went down the rabbit hole on micro-loans… which I’m super pumped about… definitely more about them later.)
But as for the day to day, I just want to be a ton more grateful. And to stop using the words broke, or poor. Ya, I know, it may seem trite and like not nearly enough, but that’s what I’ve got.
The artist life can be a struggle, and a bunch of that comes from having limited resources, But before I start in on the good fight (stretching every dollar), I’m going to say a hearty thank you for having so damn much.
And then live like the richest man I know.