Our “Insights” after Living Below the Line
We Did It!
We did it!! Our entire Boulder Office completed the Live Below the Line Challenge for each of us to live on $1.50 a day for all of our food and drink for 5 days!! Lots o’ rice and beans have been eaten – some pintos, some black beans and lentils. There was lots of perspective gained, and even some pounds lost. Sometimes our stomachs growled … sometimes we growled; but in the end we’re proud that we took the time to step out of our normal routine and stand together as a team to raise awareness and funds to support poverty eradication.
Our Personal Insights
Normally in our work, we help our customers better understand their data in order to find insights into their business. But today, we’d thought we would share some of the personal insights we each gained by living below the line. We hope you enjoy:
My biggest insight comes around nutrition. I went into this expecting to feel hunger pains and hear my stomach growling, instead I found that at the basic level I was full enough – but I had no real fuel for living. My head was in a fog, my emotions were high, and my body was sluggish at best…my overall performance was not at it’s peak this week for sure. So it got me to thinking, if I was in poverty and landed a manual job – would my body be able to deliver what was needed. If I worked hard and got a scholarship for an education, would my mind be able to process, learn and communicate effectively. There is a difference between surviving and thriving. To live in poverty you MAY be able to survive, but don’t we all deserve a chance at thriving?
I can’t believe that I was able to stay full (for the most part) for an entire week on the same amount of money that I would have easily spent on a single meal. It was also amazing to see that the only food that was ‘affordable,’ was really low on the health scale, and really making me crave vegetables and meat. All in all, this was a good experience, and opened my eyes to what other people have do endure, and to be thankful for how lucky we really are.
Life as we know it in the United States is a luxury for the vast majority, but a luxury that goes unrealized much of the time. I can, if I want to, eat fresh fruit and vegetables to my fill for every meal, have a coffee in the morning, a beer in the afternoon, and wine in the evening, plus snacks if I have the munchies. I have access to any food I want, practically any time of the day, seven days a week. And it’s not really that expensive, all things considered.
In the grand history of humanity, this kind of food access is RIDICULOUS. It’s absolutely insane. But to us, it’s a mundane fact of our existence. We take this unbelievable aspect of modern society as a given because, frankly, it truly is a given for us. (Barring economic failure, apocalypse, or act of god.)
It’s only when we’re thrust out of our comfort zone that we realize how good we really have it. It’s only when you take away the vast pleasures of everyday life that you suddenly realize how easily our lives could exist without it all. How easily we could live in a different country, be a different person, in a different socioeconomic situation. How easily we could have less – much, much less.
I’ve really cherished the opportunity to see my daily life through new eyes, and I hope I can continue to push myself outside of my routine more often to develop a larger empathy for those whose lives are more difficult than my own. Not that our lives are never difficult, of course… But you come to realize how quickly the word “difficult” can embody a larger spectrum of definitions than you’d ever imagined existed in the world. But they do exist.
This was my second year taking the Live Below the Line Challenge, and each time I am deeply impacted and am grateful for the insights I gain. It really is like a cleanse of sorts – physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s like a re-set button or “do-over” to stop me in my tracks and take a moment to turn my intentions and awareness outward; to remember the 1 out of 5 people living in extreme poverty around the world who are doing all they can to survive and feed their families. I have a renewed awarenes and appreciation for all that I have. I have a renewed commitment to not take anything for granted and to make sure that each day I will take the time to see and be in this space of gratitude even for just a few minutes, rather than letting those moments pass by. Finally, I am so glad to find that no matter the path I take professionally or personally, I will continue to find ways to do good in the world and be and live in service to others, and so grateful to know that I have colleagues that are caring and crazy enough to come along for the ride!
We’d love to hear from you and find out about causes that are near and dear to you. Have you ever taken on a challenge to raise funds for a cause? Have you gained any insights by following our blog throughout the Live #BelowtheLine Challenge? Be sure to let us know, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read our team’s other blog posts or to donate to Boulder Insight’s Live Below the Line Campaign to support BeadforLife (www.beadforlife.org), be sure to check out our web page: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/team/boulder-insight