The idea for this blog series occurred to me on my way to my campus job one day on a CyRide bus.
Like any other normal weekday afternoon, there was a mixture of students and “nonstudents” riding the Blue North route. The bus was just about to round the turn onto Lincoln Way from Beach Avenue, heading toward Iowa State’s central campus.
Across from me sat a young gentleman, probably no older than his junior year of college, attempting to call someone on his unscathed, white iPhone 6. To my standards, he was dressed relatively well in a striped Ralph Lauren polo, Chubbies and spotlessly clean Sperrys. After several failed attempts, he turned to his (also) well-dressed acquaintance and proclaimed rather loudly that his iPhone was “working like s*** today.”
I paused for a minute to consider what was wrong with this picture.
I thought to myself… There are millions of people around the world who would LOVE to have a handheld device with internet at the touch of their fingers, even if it only worked (a handsome) 50 percent of the time.
Those same people would also love to be able to have access to such a rich wardrobe. For some, earnings gained from selling his one outfit could provide a month’s worth of provisions and shelter.
So, when did my generation of millennials become so privileged?
When did we forget to count our blessings instead of everything we “lack?”
If there’s one thing I can say for certain, it’s that citizens of the United States are very privileged in comparison to the rest of the world. (Don’t get me wrong; I am well aware of the unequal wealth distribution in the States, as mentioned so clearly by The Nation and Fortune among others.)
However, as stated so nicely by the Pew Research Center, “what is considered poor [in the States] is a level of income still not available to most people globally.”
Why does it not seem this way?
And that’s when the purpose for this series came to me.
Throughout this semester living, studying and working in Peru, I’d like to bring to light some everyday issues and truths I come across in hopes of my audience having a heightened awareness of their current lifestyle choices and how acting on these choices lead to global consequences.
For example, the newer is better mentality that continues to rampage across the States contributes up to 50 million metric tons of e-waste disposed worldwide every year.
That’s equivalent to the weight of over 39 million 2014 Toyota Corollas.
… That’s a lot.
Consequently, I believe my audience should have knowledge/ concern for international issues and consider changing mentioned habits accordingly.
But not to put a damper on everything, scattered throughout my series will be blogs on what I’ve learned from the Peruvian lifestyle and how these lessons are applicable in everyday life.
So, sit back. Relax, and enjoy everything I have to offer in efforts to create more global citizens one blog at a time.