Coming from a family, living in the United States who wasn’t rich but we never hardcore struggled with money, I can’t even begin to imagine living on simply a dollar a day. Anywhere you go to get food here, there is not really any place you could get a meal for that amount, let alone one with any nutritional value. In the part of Oklahoma I am from, simply paying for rent in a house is about $800 a month. With only about 30 days in a month, there is no way I could make the rent payment with only having $1 a day.
This past week, my Global Engagement class at the University of Oklahoma viewed the videos from the “Change Series” created by Living on One. It is about four male students from the States who decide to go abroad to Guatemala and live simply on a dollar a day. Before it even started, I felt many things were going to go wrong and some things we take for granted would be revealed, and I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
After only a few weeks, one of the guys fell ill with a parasite he contracted from the water he and the others had been consuming. The little village in Guatemala they were in did not have a clean, filtered watering system. It would cost them more money to have to boil the water to make it safe to drink, and they simply didn’t have enough money. They were living off of a dollar a day, and making that stretch was a task in itself. This was a perfect example of something going wrong, as they had not planned it to happen whatsoever. Also, it is an example of something I always take for granted.
I can easily go to any faucet in my house (which these villagers don’t even have) and not worry about the water being clean or not. One of the statistics that was shared in the video was that 1 out of 10 people in the world do not have clean water readily available. That may not seem to bad, but when one considers that the world population is currently sitting at around 7.7 billion people, that means that 770,000,000 people go without clean water everyday.
Seeing this statistic alone was enough to slap me in the face. I want to learn to be more aware and grateful of the “simple” things I have that I take for granted. Whether it be that I am able to turn on any faucet in my house to get clean water or that I can afford to live off a dollar a day, I, and many Americans, need to be more grateful for what we have, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot to us.