This activity is very poignant, as it shows the choices that people in severe financial distress have to make every day. It comes down to priorities, and when you can barely survive, often times the important things in life such as family and education simply go out the window.
Even though I was aware of these condition and situations, this activity really opened my eyes. It was as though I was really facing those financial situations. Making choices was not easy at all. It is crazy that there are thousands constantly facing these types of situations on a regular basis.
The silhouettes in the video display a sense of solidarity. The initial coloring highlights a difference between two individuals, whether it is: financially, socially, race, or a multitude of other factors. In the end, those who partake in service eliminate all differences, and become one with other individuals. This becomes evident when all people are colored red. Regardless of the fact that I've played "Spent" many times, it is always guaranteed to open my eyes to injustices and struggles that people face in everyday life. Playing "Spent" is also a frustrating experience because it seems as if there's no way to get along comfortably each and everyday.
I've done this exercise many times now and it never gets any easier. This time I ran out of money half way through the simulation, despite making decisions like skipping a family member's funeral and risking my child going hungry. It's incredibly eye-opening and humbling to know the decisions that many people have to make every day concerning the health and well being of their family. The strength it must take to be in that situation is incomprehensible to me.
I always try to keep in mind that people have so much more to going on in their lives that what they display to the world. However, the video just makes it all the more real. It truly is one thing to read statistics, or even quotes, from individuals struggling, but getting to experience firsthand, it just shows how EASY it is to be in need of service. If you start life from behind the eight-ball, there are an innumerable amount of obstacles in the way of "making it". You need to put others before yourself at times, and yet when you do put others before yourself, sometimes they can either take advantage of the kind heart you have, or you will be penalized. It is not that people choose to have horrible life circumstances. Chance and luck exist and sometimes people get the worst of it, for no reason.
This was a very fun exercise. I was really scared while playing,felt for real. But I understood this is how reality works. It was a good experience. When I started I was almost running out of money but made some good decision and ended up saving money. I saved more than 200 dollars . After playing "Spent" I realized that many people in our society faces these problem everyday. and paying this was a chance for me to experience the struggle and a lesson to fight this struggle.
The Spent activity was very eye opening. As I was going "through the month" in order to make ends meet I had to to say no to many things like no to visiting the dentist for toothache, paying for my kid to go to the museum, going to the doctor to get my heart checked out, no to a healthy meal, among many others. I had to make decisions that put my health and my kid's health at risk. I had to ask for a lot of help and at the end of the month I managed to have some money saved up but rent was due. It is extremely saddening that many people go through this everyday.
This activity was very intriguing and eye-opening. It is important to remember that people face these tough decisions every day. Making the choices was not easy, especially when my decision would impact not only myself, but my loved ones as well. I was shocked and frustrated when I didn't even get halfway through the month, but it really showed me how difficult it is for some people to make ends meet.
I made it to day 21 and I thought I was doing pretty well until the last few days. I really started to understand the struggle of wanting to give your child everything and make them happy but trying to deal with things like losing your job, paying for groceries, sickness, etc. The game Spent made me consider the hardships those that are less fortunate but still work hard have to face.
This exercise was eye opening. Each and every day I take the life I live for granted. I will be honest, it was extremely difficult to place myself in the shoes of a person in need every hour of the day. As a natural born decision avoider, I lean on my parents all too often to make decision for me. These decisions can be as simple as what to eat today not, should I eat today. This activity allowed me to recognize my privilege as a daughter of two hard working individuals who have been blessed to always be employed. I feel inspired and encourage to think twice when I pick out the shoes I wear tomorrow and whether or not I should save my leftovers or throw them out today.
After interacting with this delightful activity, I somehow survived to day 29. This was indeed insightful in that we cannot truly say "Oh I understand what you're going through". This was just the taste of what's it like to be impoverished. In addition, we must pause at certain moments in our lives. Whether it is a miserable or an average day, we must take notice others have worse experiences. As for the service for St. Ignatius, I just wanted to note that we cannot judge these kids based on our once a week interactions. What am I proposing? As strange as this sounds, we must be there for the kids as not only as mentors but friends as well
This was a very real experience that people have to go through daily. When it is not one thing, it is another. Something is always popping up that requires spending money. Sometimes risking certain things is the only option due to one's financial situation like when the car troubles scenario came up.