Definition: Converting habits that harm, into resources that heal.
Every living human being chooses to consume enough food, beverage/water, hopefully, every day to (hopefully) sustain life. Approximately one million will die from over consumption and some eighteen million children under the age of five will die from under consumption. By any single means of measurement this is obviously unacceptable!
If we were to honestly assess our personal consumption habits and convert those habits we believe do us harm into actual money and then purchase a replacement “food/beverage” (that we enjoy) that does us good. Then we would benefit with potentially longer, healthier and happier lives.
But what if we were to find that the alternative cost less and we had a savings even after replacing the harmful substance? We propose a DOUBLE BENEFIT by searching for an objective for your compassion. Perhaps a child orphaned by HIV in Africa who may have no hope for life unless you contribute? Or an adult in a nearby urban back street who can’t read and will remain “left out” until they can?
Every single one of us has something or someone who tugs on our heartstrings and for whom we long to do something but don’t have the money?
If there is a savings between a present habit and a future alternative then you have new money to close that unfilled compassionate connection.
Here are two examples:
• In 1983 my wife Treena and I chose to reduce our meat consumption by about $20.00 a week for our family of 4 adults. We spent $10.00 on vegetables we really liked. We lost weight, lowered cholesterol, felt better, and we enjoyed the change which are all benefits. Then we took the $10.00 savings, which become $520.00 for the year and invested this new money in two children through Compassion International. One of which we still support today. He lives healthily and is well educated because of our habit change.
• Recently we’ve started to freeze sweet red seedless organic grapes. We reach for a couple when we feel like a cookie or a chocolate covered “whatever”. We’ve computed the amount saved as $205.00 per person per year. Enough for another two children?
This is what we mean by the “Double Benefit” and we’d like to see the idea grow.
That’s why we’ve included it on our Web site and invite you to simply consider this sequence and what it could mean both to you, those you love and those who because of your change may experience real hope.
Save your supermarket receipts for one month (or even one visit will do!).
Be as sincerely sensible as you can possibly be and put a ring around any item you think might do you harm, i.e.: too many calories, too much fat, over salted, expensively packaged, well you will know.
Then compare its price with an alternative you would enjoy, yet costs less.
Estimate what that savings would represent on an annual basis. This is your new outdulgence money.
Now list three injustices that literally “tug on your heart”!
Go online with the key words, i.e. hunger, adoption, reading, eldercare, the list of urgent needs are almost endless.
Note the Web site of interest and write to each one asking exactly what they do to bring “healing” and how much of your donated dollar will go to the need itself. Depending upon the nature of the problem and its administration “effort” you may see $.75 to $.80 actually reach the person in need, if its less than $.75 be careful!
When you’ve settled on your cause ask for a means to connect with just one person at the other end by some means. The more personal the better.
Make up your mind to keep up this contribution for the three-year period and to promise a one-year notice of ceasing to give. If you start a garden it will take three years to get it going and it only takes one year to become overgrown! How much more important to give an individual some consistency and real hope?
Expect to be severely challenged in your decision. To “crave” a return to your possibly “destructive” indulgence is “normal” but always know that someone somewhere has life and hope because of your choice. Doesn’t it make sense that an all our war against injustice will involve effort and courage?
Finally, when you’ve got the harmful habit replaced by a creative alternative you will be tempted to see others who smoke, drink, chew on large candy bars, attack vast steaks, and clutch super gulp cola’s and judge them as somehow, “wrong”? Please resist this at all costs! Judgment trumps love every time and if you contribution comes from any other source but loving kindness and compassion, it won’t turn back the tide of injustice by one inch.
Now congratulate yourself for reading all this and if you choose to follow up on the idea lets know what you are doing and we’ll publish it right here as an encouragement to others.
- Graham and Treena Kerr