So, it’s been almost a year since I embarked on my “social justice” project, of sorts. Last year. I decided to refrain from eating out for a year (which only lasted about seven months), and drastically cut my grocery budget, so that I legitimately had no excuse not to add my voice to the fight against extreme poverty.
I learned a lot about gratitude and contentment through the discipline of denying myself so that others could have something. The idea of the project was to continue to budget monthly funds for eating out, and not use them on restaurants, but combine those funds with 50% of my grocery money and send that to a different charity every month.
I learned a lot about trusting God to provide for me, and about how it feels to be conscious of people who regularly go without the things I have at my fingertips.
I also learned a lot about myself. You may have noticed. This blog was set up to chronicle my journey of intentionally “joining” with the poor, and to hopefully inspire others to do their small part to help in fighting extreme poverty. Over the course of the year, I’ve had a few posts that have seemingly little to do with the generosity project and more to do with me finding myself. I think it’s all connected though.
So, moving forward, I’ve decided that being able to give generously to organizations that are working to alleviate hunger and poverty brought me so much joy that I am going to maintain the lifestyle of using only 50% of my grocery money and giving away the rest. The restaurant fast was a good exercise in discipline and mindfulness of others, but isn’t very practical, since some people only have free time at meal times.
Cutting down my grocery money will allow me to give generously and have an increased awareness of the very real issue of hunger and poverty, keeping me always mindful in prayer of those who lack.