“Why?“, you ask.
“Why should I try to imagine myself living on food stamps?”
“Why live on a ‘food stamps diet’ for a week or a month in January?”
“Why subject yourself to such a potentially unpleasant and unhealthy set of circumstances as mimicking life on SNAP benefits?”
“Why call on others to join you in living on $4.00 a day for food for awhile?”
I’m glad you asked and I’ll be glad to give you four reasons, no, five why.
1. To help raise the awareness of us all to the needs of others. It’s all too easy for any of us to become unconsciously content to live in our own world and forget, and thereby push to the margin, those less fortunate than ourselves. This will do me, and all who know me, good by training us to be more aware of, and sensitive to, others.
2. To gain a more accurate and personal understanding of what life is like for others. That’s what always happens when I take a walk in someone else’s shoes. It helps me open my mind to the bigger scope of reality and helps keep me from limiting my understanding of life to my current perception of things and people.
3. To train myself a bit in terms of self-control and to put a better bridle on my desires and my fulfillment of them. Not only my taste buds, but the expectations in my head, get all too easily accustomed to the benefits I enjoy in life. I can all too easily morph “blessings” into being “rights” in my mind. I suspect you believe as I do that a bit of self-imposed austerity can be good for the soul at times.
4. To stretch myself a bit in the practice of what is commonly know as the Golden Rule. When Jesus said “… you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you” (Matthew 7.12), I realize he was talking to me. If my lot in life was quite difficult, I’d be thankful for someone to try and draw a bit of attention to my need and to try to do something practical to help me. That’s precisely what this project does.
5. Why not?
Care to join me?