July 29, 2011

Losing It (Day 7 - July 29, 2011)

Smile?!? Not right now.
Right now is probably one of the worst times to be blogging, and yet one of the best for you to get a glimpse into this experience.  I'm in the midst of an "episode".

Here's the situation . . . I just finished washing my laundry outside (and so I am currently wet from the splashing involved); I've a got a burning rash in my "down there region" due to heat and chaffing from all the walking yesterday (aka diaper rash); I'm already feeling fed up with not having a life due to what I have given up for this project; and I've just gotten a suggestion of what I should be doing differently to make the project better . . . good suggestion, bad timing.  (I'm freakin' ready to explode!!)  And then . . . I remember that I have 11 more weeks living without the comforts of home.  (Now I'm on the verge of tears . . . seriously.)

(I need to vent . . . and so please know that what follows is blowing off some steam.)  I may not have mentioned this before, but my tent hasn't been used for about 15 years because . . . I don't like camping.  I don't like being dirty, I don't like being subject to the elements, I don't like bugs (. . . thankfully, there are few bugs).  I can't stand not having options . . . of what to do . . . and where to do that what I am not doing.   Worst of all . . . I absolutely hate the fact that I am upset when so many others have it so much worse than I.  (I can't even describe with words how pathetic I feel.)

(I take a deep breath . . . and then another . . . and yet another . . . and one more for good measure.)

Then, I remember why I am doing the project.  It's because I care.  I care that there are people who go to bed hungry at night and feel what must be the worst pain in the whole world . . . not being able to feed their kids.  I care that people have to pick through dumps and live in slums in order to survive.  I care that the poverty cycle gets entrenched because kids aren't going to school (and they want to!), basic health needs aren't being met, and so much of people's time is spent looking after their basic needs - walking miles to get water, gathering fire wood, finding food, and protecting themselves from the elements.  I CARE SO MUCH THAT I AM WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES (even if from time to time I lose control and feel terrible) AS A SIGN OF SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE IN NEED, AND AN EXPRESSION TO THE WORLD THAT POVERTY MUST BE ADDRESSED!!  (Sorry for yelling . . . I just get rather passionate at times.)

(Another deep breath . . . this time followed by a wonderful healing sigh.)

And, finally, I remember my hope.  While everything I am experiencing is temporary, it is my hope that the days of systemic, entrenched poverty in the world are also numbered.  I truly believe that there are enough resources in the world to ensure that everyone's basic needs are met.  There can still be rich people, and most of us in Canada, the USA, Europe, and various other places will continue to live the good lives that we have come to know.  I have hope that as a society we can recognize the priority of applying sufficient resources to make sure everyone has enough, that as communities we can pull together to catch those in our midst who are falling through the cracks, and that as individuals we can simply do a little bit more than we are right now.  All of us working together CAN eliminate systemic poverty.

I feel better now.  Really.  (And, Mom, I will go through these emotions from time to time . . . and that is okay so you don't need to worry.)  Thanks for listening.

A couple of items, food for thought, after I have read the above:

1.  While some may think that my episode is because I am used to "having" and so is not really about poverty, but rather my own loss, let me put this out there.  First, in this interconnected, globalized world with communication capabilities beyond anything before seen in history . . . many of the poor know that they are poor and missing out on better things in life (at least that others have it way better even if they don't know specifics).  Second, a good number of those who are caught in poverty actually have previously known better themselves . . . having suffered from a trauma or illness that caused them to lose everything, or having lost everything in a natural disaster, or having been forced to flee their home due to conflict or famine or persecution.

2.  What I have just done, and which helped me immeasurably, was to reach out to others to share how I was feeling.  For some in poverty, especially in the developed world, no such network exists . . . thus their fall into poverty.  For others in poverty, especially in the developing world, the only thing they have is a network of relationship, but unfortunately their entire network is in the same boat.

(A final deep breath . . . I am completely through my "episode" and able to get back at it.  I've now got some press releases to do, some other communications, and a newspaper interview this afternoon.)

Hey!! I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.


  1. Hang in there...this makes all of us look at our "bad days" differently!
    Hang in there...this IS what i believe a breaking point...which HE can only use to make you stronger. stay focused on what matters...

  2. Interior Gal,

    Thanks for your comments to several of the entries this evening. Your interest and words of support are very much appreciated!

    I am really focused and extremely committed to calling all of us to our highest and best selves. Animals can look after their own interests and those of their family. As humans we are called and gifted to do so much more . . . to be able to look after others in need.

    We CAN make a world of difference together!