November 4, 2011

Afraid to Turn Around? (November 4, 2011)

That Poverty Guy's grandfather, Joseph Krausert
Porridge makes me think of my Grandpa Krausert.  Okay, that came out weird.  Let me try again . . .

I've been eating porridge for breakfast every morning since starting Phase II because oats are cheap and they fill your tummy.  Whenever I eat porridge I think of my Grandpa Krausert because he used to eat porridge every morning, except Sundays when he would have bacon and eggs.  There, that's better.

My grandfather was a farmer, and not a man of a lot of words.  As I recall, he would leave the chit chat to my grandmother, who would talk to you about anything as she was very well read.  The two of them would look after one of my brothers and I when we were young.  Having had long lives that saw their fair share of good times and bad, my grandparents had a lot to teach us boys.  However, the advice I remember most comes from Grandpa.

One day my brother and I walked into the living room of our grandparent's house when we were about 8 and 9 years old respectively.  Grandpa was sitting in his usual chair, and he invited us to come sit on his lap.  As soon as we were comfy, he told us two things.  First, a regret.  He told us that he had lived a great life but the only regret he had was that he wouldn't be able to see my brother and I grow up (he knew he wouldn't live long enough to see that).  Second, some advice.  Grandpa told us that we were to live our lives in a way that if anyone were to call our names from behind we would not be afraid to turn around.  Good grandfatherly advice . . . words to live by.

Not being afraid to turn around means being able to look anyone straight in the eye without a speck of guilty conscience.  Of course, there are many reasons we may have a guilty conscience.  We may have done something to wrong another person.  This captures things that are clearly wrong . . . such as lying, stealing, defaming, etc.; but it also captures those things we know are wrong or hurtful but rationalize by saying things like, "It's not personal. Just business."  Further, it applies to things that we don't do but probably should have done . . . like not helping someone in need when we could have . . . or turning a blind eye to the needs of others when thinking only of ourselves.  I have tried my darnedest to live by this advice all of my life.

The ramifications of my grandfather's advice are far reaching and all encompassing.  From it flows a requirement to treat everyone the way that you would want to be treated.  It also implies that we have to be neighbourly, and lend a hand to our neighbour if they are in need of something we can do for them.  And, it recognizes that our actions affect others so we should be respectful and responsible in all that we do.  I'm human, and like all of us, from time to time I have fallen short of meeting this standard of behaviour.  But, when I do, I try to make amends as best I can and then move forward.

What a world it would be if everyone were to follow my Grandpa's advice!  People being civil to one another all the time . . . those making promises treating their word as their bond . . . business being transacted as if all affected were a close relative or friend . . . and everyone being able to stand before those in need knowing they have done everything within their power to help the other as they would want to be helped themselves. You know . . . it's not too late.  We can create that world for our children by living our lives that way now.

Phase II - Struggles of the Working Poor Daily Report
Day 3 (November 3rd)

Weight at Beginning of Project:  233 lbs
Weight at End of Phase One:  216 lbs
Weight at Start of Phase Two: 221 lbs
Weight at Start of Today:  219 lbs

Available Funds:   $1.37 (leftover) + $6.00 (new) = $7.37
Funds Spent Today:  $6.91
Remaining Funds:   $0.46

Items Purchased:   2 Packets of Noodle Soup, 1 Box of Rotini (454 g), 1 Can of Spaghetti Meat Sauce (398 mL), 2 Bananas, 2 Sm. Tomatoes, 1 Packet of Powder Ranch Dressing Mix

Free Stuff:  Several Packets of Salt & Pepper, 1 Head of Green Leaf Lettuce (slightly wilted), 1 Bag of Apples (badly bruised, unable to be sold)

Gas Purchased* & Remaining:  $0.00 (i.e. 0 litres @ $1.129 per litre . . . 0 km @ 10 km/litre) + 1.17 litres (gas remaining) = 1.17 litres (11.7 km)
Driving Today:  7 km (i.e. 0.7 litres)
Gas Remaining:  0.47 litres (i.e. 4.7 km)

*Will not include any fuel or driving related to work that is paid for by work.

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  1. It is so true....Society cannot be civil if everyone just thinks of themselves!

  2. Sean D. Krausert, EditorNovember 4, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Animals think only of themselves and their own well being . . . I believe humans can rise above such base existence.