We had a lovely 4th yesterday. We went to a friend's house for a cook-out. They have a pool, so we swam and talked. We talked about whether or not we could afford to retire early, especially if we put the money we spent on alcohol into our retirement accounts.
Then our talk turned to the graduation speaker who had addressed our students. The graduation speaker talked about vision boards and how a vision board allowed her to buy her first Infiniti, even though she admitted that $35,000 was a lot to pay for a car back in the early 90's. Indeed. I bought a house for $35,000 back in the early 90's.
We talked about a colleague who plans to buy a Lexus with the proceedings from her divorce and the sale of her wedding diamonds.
My friend said, "Just think about how many hungry children you could feed with that money."
Let me pause here to note that I didn't introduce the social justice turn into the conversation. But once she steered it that way I could not resist.
I said, "A mosquito net that protects a child from malaria costs just $4. How many children could we save with our monthly beer budget?"
There was resistance. I knew there would be. I don't want to give up my wine either. My friend said, "Yeah, but a Lexus costs, what, $40,000? That's a lot more than my beer budget!"
I gently pointed out that our colleague would drive that car for many years. How much do we spend on alcohol every year?
My friends conceded my point. I offered to take alcohol money and transform it into mosquito netting if anyone wanted--money laundering of a different sort! The talk moved on to other subjects.
I'm not going into details here--my mom might read this blog!--but suffice it to say, if we donated just half of our alcohol budgets to buy mosquito nets, we'd save a great many children. And we'd be healthier in all sorts of ways.
something broke me
7 months ago