About six months into the restaurant free journey, the Eldest Princess excitedly proclaimed that not eating at a restaurant for six months must be a world record. She was wrong. Not, I’m pretty sure she was wrong. Way wrong. To her credit, she’s in the 3rd-grade. 3rd-graders are generally fascinated with world records. Somewhere along the way, I failed as a parent either in conveying an accurate understanding of the world or in the teaching of basic mathematics. So I gently explained the truth:
1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water
800 million people will go to bed hungry tonight
1 billion people live on less than $1.00 a day
2 billion people live on less than $2.00 a day
1/2 of all kids live in poverty
40% of the world does not have shoes
These folks are not going to hit the drive-thru if they are hungry. No Eldest Princess, it’s not a world record. Please forgive me for letting you down on this one.
Today, I did not eat at a restaurant. The hope that my daughters don’t grow up believing that our luxuries are a matter of right helps me do that. Knowing that one dollar can provide clean drinking water for an entire year to someone who does not have it helps me avoid the dollar menu. This is not about guilt. Guilt is not helpful. Awareness is helpful. Awareness leads to change.