Have you ever turned off the TV or put down a National Geographic because the pictures of destroyed homes, dusty and barren fields, and bloated, hungry children was more than you could bear? If you’re like me, these images and statistics are more than I care to tackle. I know there is incredible suffering and poverty in North America; I have done hurricane relief in the US and helped on Native Reservations. Yet somehow, traveling to Africa and Asia has challenged me even more as I have seen the enormity and complexity of global poverty.
I know. This is blog is supposed to be lighthearted, a collection of cultural guffaws. But in many ways, being in an intercultural marriage has opened my eyes to things I would rather not see. And yet, now that I have seen them, the images are forever seared into my memory. Children digging through garbage. Mothers begging for food to feed a starving infant.
In light of these experiences, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Varun and I have been reconsidering the use of our finances, time and resources.
Because we come from two incredibly differing backgrounds and are becoming increasingly aware of the world around us, we are trying to put a lot of time and thought into how we should live. Many of our assumptions and “givens” are not actually shared. So, as we journey into adulthood and are faced with options about careers, spending, saving, children, etc, we are trying to be intentional in praying and considering how to actually spend our lives.
As a result, we’ve been reading a few books and making a few small changes. Some changes are still in our thoughts, some are in the works but not official, and some are being implemented. One small change we’re making is to try to buy local, organic and free range. This can be heart-breakingly expensive but because we are trying to value the environment and our health, we feel this is a worthwhile pursuit. (There are still many aspects of this which are confusing.)
For example. The other day at the grocery store I was blown away to see that free-run eggs were $2.39 for 6, and normal-live-and-die-in-a-box eggs were $2.49 for 12. Ouch.
And then I saw this:
In Canada, food labels are printed in English and French. And when I read the French, my heart just about broke, “Hens in liberty”. *SOB*. I bought them.
I’m curious though, what do you buy local or organic? Everything or just certain veggies? How do you wrestle with the desire to eat healthy food, support local farms AND maintain a budget?
Some of the books we have been reading that have been really influential are:
This book is perhaps my favorite, even though I’ve only listened to about 1/100th of it. I am saddened by the orphan crisis around the world and pray each day that God would guide us in considering adoption. I know it’s complex, I know it’s challenging: but I cannot wait to adopt!
This is a heavy post. I realize that. It’s our desire, however, that in combining two cultures we don’t merely have AWESOMELY tasty suppers every night, but that we also develop a heart and a lifestyle that reflects the needs of the worlds in which we live.