Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 13- $1 a day

Almost two weeks into my experiment I'm often tempted to cut corners. A little devil in a red leather pantsuit is sitting on my left shoulder tempting me to cheat. A little angel in white linen pants and a cashmere sweater is sitting on my right shoulder reminding me of why I am doing this experiment-- to identify with the poor.

The devil says: You want a cup of coffee. Get it! You have a Starbucks gift card that you got for the holidays from your workplace. It was a gift, so you're not paying for it out of your $1 a day. The angel says: People living in poverty aren't likely to get a gift card from their boss, and even if they did they would probably buy some food with it.

The devil says: Those hash browns you made are good, but they would be even better with some ketchup out of your refridgerator. The angel says: But you didn't buy that ketchup with your $1 a day-- so it is off limits!

You get the idea. I'm holding the course, but gotta admit that I fight a fair amount of rationalizations each day. Probably the same rationalizations that keep me from establishing regular and permanent sacrifices to do my part making world poverty a thing of the past.


  1. hmm...the angel encouraging the $1 is wearing a cashmere sweater? I wouldn't listen to that hypocrite!

  2. Mel, you've been very food focused in this blog. But the poor have other things to consider besides food in their day to day existence. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on things besides what you will eat each day.

    For example, I've travelled to many third world locals, and I'm always amazed at the ability of poor people to have such a good time. I'm not trivializing the difficulties of poverty. But I have had the most raucous laughter, the most intensely spirited and joyful exchanges, with poor people. Sometimes when we didn't even speak a common language.

    So Mel, how are you managing to have FUN on $1 a day? How are you finding joy in your life without a budget to generate that joy?

    1. That is a very good question. One I would vere much like too know the answer to or at least hearing some thoughts / reflections about.

  3. Hi Melanie ... Just catching up on your blog & experiment. You are one amazing lady. Your discipline is inspiring. I am blessed to call you friend. Hope you are feeling better this weekend. xo Ellen