Let me start off by saying that this is NOT what I was planning on posting about today. I have plenty of photos of my darling children and beautiful wife that are just waiting to be included in a new Photoblog! But that will come later. Instead, I want to process my thoughts… just a little bit.
Well, have you seen the news stories about Ben Affleck taking a poverty vow? Apparently, he’s teamed up with Live Below The Line in order to bring awareness to the plight of those who live in extreme poverty. This is all fine and dandy. I think bringing awareness to poverty and raising money toward the cause is fantastic.
My question is this…
While it’s great to have celebrities on board to help spread the word, how realistic is it for a celebrity (or any wealthy person) to truly understand those who suffer through extreme poverty when, after the 5 days are over, they know that they can and will return to a life of affluence? I truly believe that there is a different mentality involved when you don’t know where your next meal will come from today, tomorrow or next month. I think it’s easier to commit to eating very little (or even not at all) for 5 days when I know that when those days are over I’ll be able to have a hearty (and dare I say borderline gluttonous) meal.
This is no knock to Ben. I think it’s admirable. I just don’t see how the poverty vow can have any lasting impact on wealthy participants. It’s the mental and emotional exhaustion that I think is understandably absent from this 5-day challenge. I think your mind goes to a different place when you’re thinking, “I don’t know IF I’ll eat today”, as opposed to, “I don’t know WHAT I’ll eat today”. At the beginning of day one, I’d simply be thinking about how to get through the next 5 days, not the rest of my life.