Who are we without empathy?

I might loose some friends with this one, and part of me is scared wants to hit delete instead of posting this, but there is this other part of me that is fuming inside, ready for some real change to come about and wonders where the matches are so I can start this fire.

In just 8 days we are going to be participating as a family in the $2 dollar day challenge and with many friends from all over the world we will be eating on only $2 for the whole day. I am excited to see what happens, but when I go look at the site and see how few people have signed up to take the challenge, I have to be honest that I am frustrated. I wonder why it is that we run from reality, why it is that we shy away from the truth, and hide when we see a chance to learn. Thousands have visited the site in the past weeks, thousands have seen the challenge, have read at least a little of the needs of the world’s poor, and nearly everyone of them has left, decided for one reason or another that they are not up to it.

I know I am ranting here, but bear with me, I think there are some truths here that we need to discover.

The 2 Dollar Day Challenge was an idea that Jerry and Christy Shannon had to help people see the things that their family deals with every day.  They run a project called Embracing Hope Ethiopia that is making strides in helping the poorest of the poor in Korah near the garbage dump here in Addis Ababa, and not a day goes by that they don’t work with people who face some of the most extreme poverty in the world. From those lessons and struggles they decided to pose a challenge for the rest of us, a way for us to get a taste of what life is like for these who live on so little.

I know its uncomfortable, I know its complicated, I know there are other causes and that this just feels like one more.   But I ask you this; Where else are you gaining empathy? What are you doing to help yourself understand the plight of the poor, is there anything in your life that brings you closer to finding what your place in their need you might be able to meet?

A little to forward for you?  Does this post makes your squirm?  Do you read this and you want to leave the page and go read something a little more lighthearted?  We all go through those feelings, we all battle with not wanting to open our eyes, but if this world is going to change, if those of us who can are going to help those who cannot, we must first understand their need.

Please go sign up for the challenge, commit that you will eat for one day on December 8th for only $2.  Then help spread the word, change your profile to this picture to let others know that you are taking the challenge, press your friends to do the same with you.

If we don’t start somewhere, if we don’t decide to get a little uncomfortable, we will never expand what we see, and if all we see is what is right in front of us-we will never change anything.


6 thoughts on “Who are we without empathy?

  1. I am signed up but have been pondering the ‘how?’. It would be cool if someone could put together a typical ‘menu’ of what could be consumed in that one day!

  2. we are doing our whole family of 6 on the $2 b/c that is more realistic to what would be the situation-typically there is one wage earner so we want to see what it is like. And yes, my children will be taking ramen noodles for school lunch and maybe carrots-I am seriously hoping their friends ask why they don’t have a bigger lunch :)

  3. We’re a family of 7, but only 6 of us will be home on the 8th. $2 for us means a 2lb bag of rice, a small onion, a drizzle of oil, pinch of salt, and possibly — if we’re lucky with prices that day! — a few carrots. Our family has eaten only rice on Ash Wednesday a few times, and it is a challenge! It does drive home how very, very blessed we are each day.

  4. I just signed myself up, and honestly if you hadn’t posted this today it probably would have slipped under my radar (haven’t been Facebooking much lately). It looks like I will be back on the college diet of two for one hotdogs at AM PM and top ramen. On the other hand, I do think that some people might not want to seem callous by voting “no” if they know they can’t do it.

  5. We’ve done the 30 hour famine numerous times. But the fact is at the end you can easily go to an all you can eat buffet. My question is what are daily things we can do in our lives to raise awareness for others of poverty, and also reduce our spending so that we have more to share. Living for a day on $2 is one way to help raise the awareness.

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