I am sure you have heard the argument before that quitting smoking can help you save money. It is one reason used to argue for a tax on cigarettes. Recently, there have even been discussions of a tax on soda and possibly other unhealthy foods. Often our wallets are more important in motivating us than our own health.
Recently, I was able to visit Africa and help deliver supplies to orphanages that did not have electricity, beds, or even windows. They were enthusiastic, but a suitcase of children’s clothes just did not seem like enough. One orphanage told us that they are trying to raise money and just $2500 would build an entirely new building to house 30+ orphans. How could I not think about how much money I spend on frivolous things when there are children sleeping on concrete and not getting enough to eat?
Because we were not allowed to drink the water (for our own health), we stopped at a grocery every day for water and snacks. As I watched others pick up soda and chocolate, I began to think about how much our vices cost, not just us but also those with whom we might share. If health or saving money for yourself is not reason enough to stop smoking, eliminate soda from your diet, or pack your lunch rather than grabbing fast food; would you do it for someone else? Would you donate your cigarette or soda money to feed a child? Perhaps you are trying to raise money for breast cancer research or another cause that is important to you. Where can you save money and cut out non-necessities to make a difference, in both your health and the quality of life for another?
October 18th, 2009