Today I took my kids to the dentist office for their 6-month check ups, with x-rays and fluoride: $100 (paid via insurance).
I went to the chiropractor to get adjusted and heal some of the back pain/headaches I’ve been having: $45.
I drank coffee, brushed my teeth, took a shower, ran the dishwasher: basically free.
I drove the 30 miles in my reliable and thankfully paid for car to my job which pays me the money to live the “American way:” $10.
I bought a healthy lunch and iced tea: $7.50.
I refilled my trendy, environmentally friendly water bottle ($11) 3 times: free.
Having already paid approximately $162.50 today (not counting my mortgage or utilities) to live half a day, I sat in an air-conditioned office and decided during my lunch break to click a “game” I was made aware of my Compassion International as a new member of Compassion Bloggers: Survive 125. This was developed by 58: a group of organizations working to end poverty in our lifetime.
During this game, I had to make choices like:
Send my son to school with a new uniform or pull him out since I can’t afford one.
Send my daughter to school or to a job, which will help put food on our table but where there are rumors of sex trafficking.
Drink dirty water or pull my son out of school to go get clean water from a well three hours away.
When I made the choices most first world parents would make (pay for a uniform, avoid the sketchy job, choose school for their future), I got sick and ran out of money in 17 days.
These are the daily decisions nearly 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty face every day.
Their struggle isn’t mine, but it’s all of ours.
I won’t ever forget the faces of those kids I met in Guatemala, living on dirt floors, happy to be playing with the scrap wood from our building site. I won’t forget the girls I met in Detroit, whose chances for schooling beyond even a little bit of high school were slim.
I don’t pretend to have it all figured out. We try to live within our means. But, I may make poor choices and lose focus. Raising awareness for even a moment is a step in the right direction.
Won’t you take a minute and “play” the ultimate Game of Life?