Clearly we need a countercultural way of grabbing people’s attention.
I have just completed reading Daniel Ryan Day’s Ten Days Without. In this book he describes his various experiments of going ten days of abstaining from various comforts of life. The idea is that going without shoes, coat, social media etc will raise the awareness for a cause. My first thought of this book was “oh great more slacktivism, that’s what we need.”
The first chapter quickly dissolves that notion. The author first makes the point that these “ten days without” projects push our belief into action. Then the point is made that these projects move beyond slacktivism. Slacktivism is the word slacker and activism put together. It’s when we do a small thing and think we’ve made some huge difference. The danger is of course it’s just a salve for our conscious. Thirdly Daniel makes a compelling argument that these projects dispel culture’s myths.
It goes on to talk about how these things actually make a difference in three specifics ways. First you influence people around you. Next you can use your efforts as a fundraiser. Lastly it creates a lasting awareness in you of these issues. He gives steps to do all if these and offers links in his website. (10dayswithout.com)
Most of the chapters address stories of one of the “comforts” he goes without. He goes ten days without: shoes, coat, media, furniture, legs, waste, speech and touch. Each chapter is a captivating story of what he learns in his time without. He has an awareness that he picks for each time and a cause to raise money for.
The chapter on touch was the most moving to me. When he talks about confronting his apathy towards prisoners as he went to visit some inmates. The fact that they deserve the punishment for what they have done is brought up and of course they don’t totally disagree. A prisoner talks about the only hope for change is found in faith, purpose, and someone to believe in them. Isn’t that what we all need? I know that’s my only hope.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review.