The Living Tithe

So, would my scavenging get me even lower than 10 percent? After all, my long range goal is global equity, a fairness standard that goes far beyond income equality to compensate for my privileged personal infrastructure of elite education and healthcare to redress entrenched financial burdens due to physical or mental disabilities and the legacy of accumulated wealth disparity. So I took a pulse after five months: 7 percent for all my needs. I was encouraged, and I dove even deeper into downward mobility. At years end I tallied again: down to 6 percent – $1,880 for all my expenses for 2008.

To put this into perspective, my $5-aday expenses are still roughly double the global median income, and for a statistic such as personal earnings, which is so highly skewed, the median is much more representative of “average” (or equal) than is the mean. Equity would, of course, require an even lower income level for me, given my baseline stockpile of privilege relative to most of my global citizenship.

Still, I’ve made a step toward that goal by opening myself to transformation into someone who more deeply lives the values I profess – values that were the glue bonding me to my beloved partner and soul mate – and I’m on my way to what I hope will be a lifetime (going forward) of living-tithe years and a fitting tribute to the other-directed spirit that agreed in the wee hours of September 19, 2007, to dwell in my soul forever.

Chuck Hosking

Chuck Hosking lives in Albuquerque, N.Mex. He is a member of Harare (Zimbabwe) Meeting, and he actively promotes Southern African Yearly Meeting's Zimbabwe Relief Fund through Schenectady (N. Y) Meeting.