Nov 03, 2017
‘Live simply, so others can simply live.’
This November I am saying no to sexual exploitation and violence. This week we are asked to strip back by losing one luxury item.
When I think about my life it don’t think of it being filled with luxury. I have a flat, a job, bills to keep on top of, I have friends and family to keep in touch with, a social life, a bit of volunteering here and there. My life, like many of your lives, is complicated but not necessarily luxurious. Juggling all those aspects of my life requires thinking and planning, the choices I need to make to keep it all ticking over.
I can’t help but think how different this is from the life of the women I met when volunteering for Door of Hope in East London. Many people call their lives chaotic or complex but in fact, by my reckoning, they are simple: survival. Their lives are dictated by an all-consuming addiction and often a controlling partner. The money they make provides for their addiction, and often their partners’, and just enough to keep a roof above their head.
They are the victims of a cruel cycle of relentless poverty. Poverty of choice as well as poverty of means.
As I would head home to my warm, safe flat for a snack and then a long sleep they would still be out in the cold, surviving.
I can’t help but think that the complexity of my life is a luxury in itself. I have the space to think about what to buy my friend for their birthday, or what time I need to catch a train to get to my 9am meeting. These things seem mundane, even dull; but in fact illustrate a life luxurious with complexity and choice.
So, what luxury will you give up to live a less complicated life for this week?