Few days ago I participated in a campaign called Living below the Line and experience different feelings which I never feel before. If you ever starve than you may be able to fathom.
What is LBL is? I would like to share a link for you to know and learn about LBL. https://www.livebelowtheline.com/us-en-thecause
Today it is my first day and I have reflected a lot. After having my morning tea, I boiled potatoes for lunch. I boiled almost 3 potatoes to make sure that I am properly filled in.
I filled my water bottles from dispenser but later I convinced myself not to drink from dispenser but from tap water. I could easily feel the difference in taste and I was recalling when my colleague at CARE suggested me few months ago that not to drink from tap as it is not recommended for drinking purpose. I am 90% sure that the tap water in America is pretty much safer and clean than in many developing countries. So I just drink the water from tap but it made me reflect.
Reflection 1: I am blessed and have privilege on 780 million people about 1 in 9 lack access to clean water. Should I not be thankful to God? Am I not obliged to do something for those people who don’t have access to water?
My colleague just passed through my desk and he offered me some chocolates from Switzerland and I asked how much I can take? He told me to take as much as I want to! I took 7 little pieces of chocolates. I was thinking to eat them as no one was watching me but myself. I realize how hard it is to say ‘NO’ to our desires and for many they have no desire, they have no choice. I was thinking about Holy Month of Ramadan when we all Muslims fast from dawn to sun set. Ramadan month is a school of faith, of spirituality, of awareness, of giving, of solidarity, justice, dignity and unity. This is the month when introspection in us is deepest and the month of greatest contribution to humanity. But I never followed the real teaching. I just have think about myself and restrain myself from eating because of solely religious purpose. Am I really not too selfish? Am I too afraid of hell? Are there not people in this world whose everyday is a struggle? I followed the half message and forgot the half for which ALLAH said that “HE will not forgive the violation of Haqooq-ul-Ibaad (rights of people)”.
Reflection 2: This year I will be fasting to make sure that I am following the real message not the half which benefits to me but to make sure that I do think and do something for those people who don’t have access to many things. I promise myself not to waste food and not to complain. “Yes, Yes, Yes, I am obliged to do for those who are not privileged like me”. Someone inside me is screaming.
I was quickly filled this afternoon with boiled potatoes and still there were some left in my lunch box. I was excited that I have enough for today bit it was a moment for me to realize that how use to I am to have good and tasty food that even my stomach is not accepting these boiled potatoes and I filed which is actually not filling but saying no to boiled potatoes. If the 7 billion people don’t have enough food today to have a healthy and active life, why I cannot be one of them? These people don’t know that taste is and what nutrition means? I cursed myself at that very moment. I eat some pieces without peeling off with remorse. After 7:30 pm, when I saw fresh bananas and French cookies I am struggling with my own thoughts, desire and conduct, I don’t know for how long I will continue this battle. One part of my heart is craving to eat but another part of my heart is that there are many unfortunates who saw these edibles but they don’t have access like me, they can just wish. I am not ashamed of breaking my vow but I am ashamed of not thinking like this before. Why? I am dragging myself in ‘my own court’ where I am offender, I am judge.
At this sad evening of my first day of Living Below the Line, with hunger pangs I am thinking of our maid Massi Ameeran (Maasi is word which we use as Aunti) who several years ago, once took something from my hand which I was going to throw in trash by saying “it’s been ages that we cooked meat, so today I will cook for them”. Should I tell you what was in my hand? Trimmings (left over after cleaning the meat)
While thinking of Day 2, I am in agony and thinking of those for whom “Living Below the Line” is not a five days challenge but seven days a week, 24 hours for past several years.
In the end I will let you decide to think what I did with those 7 little pieces of chocolates?
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