Last night I watched a tv show where people switch lives with another person and have to live with that persons family for 2 weeks. The first week they have to live my the rules in place. The second week they can modify the rules and the ‘adopted’ household have to live per the new rules. Sometimes its an interesting show, sometimes it just another crap bit of tv.
Last night it was pretty good. A lady whose lifestyle means she wants for nothing has switched with a freeganism lifestyle. WHOA. WHAT?
So Lady 1 (L1) lives in a nice house, kids, husband, and the ethic of working is very real. And, because they have the nice house and apparent high paying jobs, they pay a shit load of taxes. Sounds familiar right?
Lady 2 (L2) lives in a small motorhome with her husband and 1 child. They have a job (thats what they call it). They go and preach the word of GOD to people on the streets and then hope they are given a donation of money. They live by what GOD provides.
So L1 & L2 switch lives. They have no idea what they are up for until they walk into the door of the new home. Imagine the surprised looks. One has a look of “I would not use this to travel on holidays in” and the other has a look of “ANTI CONSUMERISM at its best, over indulgence and selfish living”.
I knew it would be good tonight!
What I didnt expect was that the 2 ladies and their families were civil about their lifestyles & values to the other individual. I dont recall an argument (common on the show) or a slagging of words party. Instead, Mr Businessman (L1 husband) tries to ask what sort of contribution L2 brings to the society she is supp trying to help. L2 says she is spreading the word of GOD and he provides. He asks her if she doesnt work and does not provide trade of goods for cash etc, what happens when she or anyone in the ‘community’ (which is really a group of people in motorhomes who camp out at the local parks every night) gets sick.. what do they do? L2 explains they use the national health system. This, doesnt go down well. Mr Businessman wants to know why she feels its okay to use it, when she doesnt pay taxes. Afterall, he spends a bucket on taxes, and she spends nothing. No income. No taxes. He feels she shouldnt have access to what others who are working to have should be able to use. He also feels that because she doesnt work, her kid shouldnt be attending the same school that others who do contribute to the economy should. Afterall, why should she get the same benefits as those who contribute to the economy. Especially after she rants on about anti consumerism and the evils of it, and the pride she feels of not having to take part in such tasks. She explains that she feels empowered to life off of what GOD provides.
Provides? She digs in dumpsters for food. GOD didnt provide that for you. If you have to go in the middle of the night and scavenge without permission, its not being provided for you.
L1 is trying to adapt to the lifestyle of freeganism. She explains she would feel better if they had permission to take the food if they are not buying it. Which apparently is not allowed to do. You cant ask for things. Remember, GOD provides. And so, GOD provides these people with the food which if caught, could end them in jail. See.. thats stealing. But somehow, GOD provides it.
L1 attitude was highly respected by myself. She had a lot of concern for the child who is embarrassed by how his parents live. He cant have friends over to his place. He hasnt been invited to parties, because he can never buy a present for his buddys bday. Etc. Eventually, L1 throws the kid a birthday party for his 10th bday.. his first bday cake ever, first celebration with people who are there for his special day. The kid is over the moon. He is thrilled someone thought so well of him to throw him a party.
And, he has a pet mouse (thinking Wilbur yet?). He explains its the only pet he can really have in such a small space.
L2 obviously is having a difficult time with spending money on groceries. She hates the waste of food. Always saying that wasting the food affects the global environment.
Honey.. you living off everyone else’s handouts affects the global environment as well.
L2 takes her new family garbage dumping… freeloading.. whatever. Mr Businessman is shocked by the wastage of companies, but expresses that if this is so OK why are they doing it in the night, and why does the law consider this an offence. L2 rants about anti consumerism and blah blah blah.
Finally everyone sets back into their normal routines. L1 and her husband begin minimizing wastage at their house as to earlier lifestyle choices. They also have started a food drive for those less fortunate from the restaurants and bakeries in town helping.
L2 and her husband, well, they upgraded their motorhome and continued to discuss how they do not need jobs in the traditional sense. They feel they are doing the greater good.
They walk the streets and hand out pamphlets. Seriously.
L1 & her family bought L2 son a computer. They felt it important for the boy to have some interaction with his school like normal kids do. They also didnt want his schooling to be disadvantaged because of how his parents choose to live.
The show got me thinking. And for once, it was nice to see 2 different sides of life try to integrate into each other without all the temper tantrums, and so forth. Civil people with vastly different ideals trying to communicate. Interesting….