When you hear the expression “Live on the Edge” what do you think? Living dangerously? Extreme sports? Taking risks?
If you Google it you get this....
live-on-the-edge. Verb. (third-person singular simple present lives on the edge, present participle living on the edge, simple past and past participle lived on the edge) (idiomatic) To have an adventurous or perilous lifestyle; to behave in a manner which creates risks for oneself.
Well I was Living on the Edge yesterday, but not in the way you are now thinking.
I was a volunteer for “Aware” and “Daughters of Tomorrow” - organisations that work together to bring awareness through experience to companies about poverty. It is via a role play, and the scenarios are based on real life stories from around the world - I’m not sure it matters where in the world you are, poverty is poverty, the main difference being how cold it is maybe...
This is a youtube of Living on the Edge in Canada....
As volunteers we were assigned roles - there was the Housing Authority, Medical, Job Agency, Supermarket, Religious Organisation, Pawn Shop, Loan Shark, “model agency” and police ( I think others too....)...
I was assigned as Police Officer, to keep law and order, take underage children into detention if left unattended and of course arrest people.
The simulation started, each round signifying a week in life. The first round was a figure it out round, quite chilled.
The next week was more hectic as they realised they had to get things done.
3rd week - signs around necks of “homeless” and “I’m starving”...
My heart sunk and all I wanted to do was give them some food or money.
That's the reality for many in this world.
Although I wasn’t playing as someone living in poverty, it was interesting to see it from the outside as others put themselves into the roles - different ages and family backgrounds and how they each responded to what was happening.
It made me think of some of the volunteering I’ve done and how this is reality..
Afterwards is a debrief for the ‘players’ who stay in the role first and then a group debrief back as themselves. I could only stay for the smaller groups but here’s some of the feelings that the simulation evoked:-
Irritated and let down by society and the system
Education became less of a priority as the teenagers needed to work
However families felt they really pulled together to support each other.
Can you imagine living day in day out feeling that way?
Anyone reading this blog is unlikely to be under the bread line, but it could happen in the future - there is no way of really predicting. There was a ‘tramp’ in the UK who gave his millions away when his Wife died, yes his choice to be homeless but you never know.
The question I ask the most about this and other things is “how to change it” -I know legislation is needed but if governments don’t/can’t/won’t or take sooooo Long -what can we as human beings do to help each other.
The divide of wealth in the world is insane -
The world’s 10 richest billionaires, according to Forbes, own $505 billion in combined wealth, a sum greater than the total goods and services most nations produce on an annual basis. Taken from https://inequality.org/facts/global-inequality/
How can that really be and do we need that much money to live?
For me the answer is no, what comes to mind is the lady who has 200 Hermes bags that was posted on Facebook the other day.... seriously!!!
There is only so much each of us can do and continue to live our lives - but there are things we can do and I'm still in the process of figuring out what!...
A couple of YouTubes I came across as I searched a bit, and some interesting comments about them - what is the solution..?
Thanks for reading.