The word I heard most today was ‘sorry’. This was primarily from colleagues who passed chocolate and biscuits in my direction before realising that I could not eat them. I tell them not to be sorry because I have chosen to live below the line again this year. It’s a conscious decision and something that I choose to take part in. I could reach out for that square of chocolate if I really wanted it. But I’m resolved to live on £1 a day for 5 days on food and drink because there are 1.2 billion people in the world who don’t have that option. There are 1.2 billion people in the world who can’t just opt out of their poverty or look forward to the big breakfast they are going to enjoy on Saturday morning. Their experience is unfair and ongoing, unless we choose to take action.
I’m glad that my colleagues are sorry when they are reminded that in my current circumstance I cannot enjoy the same luxuries they have. Each time they say ‘sorry’ it means that they are aware of my lack in the midst of their wealth. It serves as a reminder that 1 in 8 people will go to bed hungry tonight even though there is enough food to feed everyone in the world one and a half times over. Within my team, I represent the 1 person in 8 who will go to bed hungry tonight. Each time I hear ‘sorry’ I envision someone saying sorry to the world’s poorest for the unfair systems that are often used to keep people in poverty while others have far more than they’ll ever need or use. My hope is that these brief ‘sorrys’ will turn into meaningful action to end extreme poverty.
For those of you who are wondering what we actually ate today the list below sums it up.
- 1.5 eggs for breakfast @ £0.14
- 1 banana @£0.11
- Rice made with a stock cube & frozen veggies for lunch @ £0.08
- 2 tiny cottage pies @ £0.50
- 2 teas with UHT milk @ £0.05
Today’s total comes in at about £0.88, which leaves just enough wiggle room to add in some chicken for tomorrow’s lunch and supper, which will hopefully add some flavour to the rice and veggies.
If you would like to take action to help end extreme poverty please pledge your support as I Live Below the Line, https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannehooper.