Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Making less in 2 years than you make in 2 weeks... Simple Living, Chile Edition

I make $60 a month. To some degree, whether I want to or not, simple living is going to be forced upon me. I remember the first day one of my best friends told me how much her new job brings in every two weeks, and having that frightening realization that she made more in two weeks then I will make in the next two years! And yet, it would be deceiving to look at my salary and think that encapsulates all there is to the radical theory of simple living.

My simple living, no matter how hard it might actually get on me personally, is, in the end, temporary. I live and work among people for two years, and then I come home. It's hard not to feel a bit guilty about it all.

I see the opportunity to struggle, but I also believe this might be my most beneficial aspect of the experience. Living simply means finding my pleasures in the simple things of life: a good book, a hand written letter, or a really beautiful thunderstorm that lights the sky up in ways I forgot to look at for so many years. It means making sacrifices like using less electricity, cold showers, and eating beans day in and day out even though that's my least favorite food, but doing it because it's what my community got at the market, it is affordable, and in the end, it's what my neighbor is also eating that night for dinner.

If I get this whole thing right, I think it will make my relationships with those at home and those I live amongst in Chile that much richer and real. For in the end, I will be coming to my relationships now with nothing to offer but myself and in turn, others will approach their relationship with me having nothing more than who they are to offer as a gift to our relationship. Simple living means understanding that while I have come to serve, I will also get served by the people in our society we so often feel have nothing to offer...

"And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness... recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness... by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb to agree to serve... You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

PS- All is well here. I depart August 22nd and the adventure begins!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lol....ouch...is this a direct hit? :(....im sorry...but you should know that i am more envious and jealous than you can ever imagine...and if we could switch places, i would in a tenth of a second...:>
me :)