Drafted last November, but never posted.
So, I come from a bubble. A little ivory tower of privilege in middle class America--a nuclear family of Western European descent with the dog and the cat and the approximately 2.5 kids and the nice backyard with a swimming pool. I have never had to think about survival--for my entire life, I've lived with my subconscious under the illusion that "things all work out in the end". The largest problems I have ever had pertain to philosophy and social acceptance.
Due to some silly circumstances having to do with a bank transfer, for the first time in my life, for about three weeks last semester, I had to get by with nothing. I'm fairly experienced with self-induced fasting, remnants of my spiritual and self-loathing days. However, this was the first time I can remember in which I so desperately wanted food for days, but could not have it. And I'm in no way trying to compare my situation to that of the extremity of the global poverty situation or claim that I'm any expert on deprivation, however, the past few weeks have given me a glimpse outside the bubble that I had not been able to achieve to such an extent by trying to run away. I've learned a couple of things--about myself, and about life. If anything, hunger is enlightening.
I've learned that pessimism benefits you very little, particularly when you're alone. I suppose that if you whine and complain to the right people, you can accomplish something to save your situation. However, when you're alone, it simply does not help you to feel sorry for yourself or dwell on the pain. You can change the future by doing, but as for the immediate moment--that doesn't change. You might as well take a look at the parts of life that are awesome, because honestly, pain is all relative, and circumstances are entirely founded on perspective.
Yet as I previously stated, you can change things. Humans are autonomous enough that there is always an outlet out of your situation. Granted, that outlet may not be to your liking--because of objections, due to morality or general fear, yet there is an outlet. And even with the brief taste I had of desperation, I learned a lot about what exactly I would do for a Klondike bar.