Simplicity and Humility

One of the amazing things about Live Below the Line is the incredible sense of humility I get from it each and every time…

Amazing view of the shearing shed on my sister's farm

Amazing view of the shearing shed on my sister’s farm

I would have thought by now having done an accumulative period of around 12 weeks of Live Below the Line over the years I would be expecting it or used to it but this time, just like the rest, has me full of mercy, resolve and lover of life and humanity.

Again for me it is the incredibly awe and appreciation of simplicity I get from Living Below the Line. It is a week where I eat better, walk more and have a greater appreciation of the simple and available things in like (obviously not being things!).

Can tell you the meals are pretty simple - pumpkin, potato, carrot, rice and lentils

Can tell you the meals are pretty simple – pumpkin, potato, carrot, rice and lentils

The other wonderful side-effect of LBL is the resolve of being a more active and effective global citizen. While I get the appreciation of simplicity for the week there are 1.2 billion others who live in the insecure and threating realm of simplicity because they don’t choose it and certainly not for a 5-day period as I am.

I would love for everyone to give Live Below the Line a shot – living on the extreme poverty line for your food and drink – even if just for one day. It is simply the most inspiring and insightful experience anyone in the developed minority world can have in their own country to understand how the majority of the world lives – remembering that the challenge is set at the peak price of extreme poverty and only for food and drink while the 1.2 billion people who actually live in extreme poverty would be anywhere below that mark and forever.IMG_1220

In the four years of being a part of the Live Below the Line campaign the World Bank statistics have dropped from 1.4 billion to 1.2 billion, that is a drop of 200 million people who now have at least basic access to food, water, shelter, education and healthcare. I know that I have been a part of that in some small way, even just learning for myself what it means to Live Below the Line but I hope others get to join the movement that can see an end to extreme poverty within a generation – because it needs you!

Happy, simply, inspired, a little hungry and resolved to do whatever I can to see an end to extreme poverty…

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Simplicity and Live Below the Line

 

Oats, pumpkin, potatoes, apples, carrots, lentils, rice, orange, onion, garlic & pearl barley - just enough being plenty!

Oats, pumpkin, potatoes, apples, carrots, lentils, rice, orange, onion, garlic & pearl barley – just enough being plenty!

Live Below the Line is a campaign started by a couple of good friends of mine a few years ago to give people perspectives into the lives of people who live on less than what you can buy in the US for $1.25 or less / day (the World Bank definition for extreme poverty).

In the past couple of years I have done it for a few weeks or longer than the official 5 days. For example this time last year I did it for 5 weeks while cycling 1000 miles from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, Canada – http://lunnyLBTL.wordpress.com LBL 2012

This year I am only doing it for the official 5 days as I am back in my birth place of South Australia and staying with my mum who gets concerned (and read here annoying) if she can’t over feed me! Plus I just found out from July to December this year I will be working on polio eradication with UNICEF in Chad which means I will get my fair share of living on the basic of the food chain – sorghum and millet being the staple in Chad and down the bottom end of that food chain!

Photo taken from what the world eats - http://heartsinunity.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/feeding-family-for-week-around-world.html This one is a family in a refugee camp in Chad

Photo taken from what the world eats – http://heartsinunity.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/feeding-family-for-week-around-world.html This one is a family in a refugee camp in Chad

Anyway of significant relevance to this blog are the amazing perspectives, conversations and inspirations that come from doing Live Below the Line in a developed country context. Having been able to live my simplicity, self-sufficiency and sustainability more this year thanks to the Happy, simply concept and lifestyle I think diet can be a wonderful component of that…

The big differentiation here is that Live Below the Line is about creating awareness and education on the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty and for me it is also about showing those in affluent western societies how we can learn from an experience like this (when we get to choose it!) and live more with less.

During this week I will be giving a lot of presentations for the Global Poverty Project, Live Below the Line and The End of Polio campaigns and ideas in schools but new to my advocacy this year will be the lessons learnt in the past year of living more with less and where the simple things in life are almost always the better for us.

I certainly acknowledge that there is a big gap and grey area between glorifying poverty (when others can’t choose simplicity) and promotion of simplicity (when we have enough to choose it) but this is exactly what I will playing around with in this 5 days of my Living Below the Line