I’ve been reading Barbara Kingsolver‘s The Lacuna on my Kindle for the last couple of weeks and loving every minute of it. The other evening, I stumbled across a line that made me go through the extra effort of adding a highlight. It is in reference to the time of World War II:
“The new American motto is: ‘We make do with nothing new,’ no watches, new shirts or bedsheets…”
It was a good reminder of how America came together in frugality to support a war against injustice and genocide. Specifically, to make sure the “boys” oversees had what they needed to keep fighting the good fight.
(This article over at The Frugal Café has some basic information on the topic as well as a bunch of amazing propaganda posters, including the one I used for this post.)
It made me think. Imagine if we could mobilize today’s America to stop consuming at ridiculous rates to support the war on hunger. What would be a more worthy cause?
I can imagine the following slogans:
- Cook at home and save a life!
- Trade a pair of new shoes for clean water!
- Buy second hand to win the war on hunger!
East Africa is facing the worst drought in 60 years. Somalia is hit particularly hard because of troubles in getting aid to the famine zones. That’s right. The UN has declared parts of Somalia to be experiencing a famine. Thousands of people are attempting to find food by walking hundreds of miles to get to neighboring countries Kenya and Ethiopia (which are also in bad shape). This NYTimes article states:
In the Dadaab refugee camp along the Kenya-Somalia border, the hospitals are full of emaciated babies taking their last breaths.
I read this and I feel the tears welling up in my eyes. “Emaciated babies taking their last breaths…” Innocent lives gone because there is not enough food. Sure, with the political problems in Somalia, skipping that dinner out may not directly help the situation there. However, the act will make a difference. It’s a state of mind. A global state of mind that we are all in this together: If people on the other side of the world are starving, we must do something about it.
Oxfam America is asking for donations to help provide food and clean water to those affected by this famine. According to their website, “$50 will provide 200 people a day’s supply of clean water.” There’s your dinner out…
Let’s make it cool to be frugal again. We’ve got to conquer hunger!
Pass it on!