Canada Challenge Update:
I like my comfy life in Australia. Looking back on my childhood I am reminded that my parents worked hard so that they could get ahead, and provide opportunities for my sister and I to do even better. I've tried to have the same philosophy in life, that hard work equals rewards and eventually an easier life.
Over a number of years I've come to realise that we are truly blessed here in Australia, and not everyone in this world has the same opportunity as us. Sometimes, no matter how hard you are prepared to work, to see a difference in yours and your family's life you do need a helping hand, outside encouragement, more resources or someone to walk alongside you. This is easy to forget living in our culture and I find I need constant reminders that we are among one of the most richest nations on earth (both in terms of finances but also in opportunities). As well as helping others, my involvement with Eagles Wings and Eagles Wings events has been a great way to provide me this reminder. Looking back over the last 8 years I can see that with each event for Eagles Wings I have gained a deeper appreciation of the great need and how I can make a difference.
While I still find it hard to live a simple life (I do like "stuff"), I find it helpful to be continually mindful of my blessings. In preparing for the Canada Challenge, my wife and I talked about how we could respond to the call for #simplicity. I didn't want to just "do without" for a period, I wanted to make an on-going impact on mine and someone else's life. For us, that meant developing the habit to look continuously for areas where we could simplify and re-prioritise our life. Practically, we have setup an online savings account and whenever we see an opportunity to simplify, and act on it, we transfer the savings to our Simplicity account. Sometimes it's little things like not getting a coffee, eating at home rather than getting takeaway, or borrowing a book from the library rather than buying from Amazon. Sometimes it's more significant, like cancelling cable television or not taking a holiday. Either way, it quickly adds up. I like the opportunity to make this decision again and again as I think it is helping to train my heart (my head will usually catchup eventually!).