Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Hunger Shame

Know hunger
I don't know hunger.  Oh I have been hungry and had times when it felt like the sides of my stomach lining were touching each other.  I have also been so hungry I have been nauseated.  But I haven't really known real hunger.  It's something that I fear.  

There are many kids living in abject poverty who don't eat much at all. Some are so weak that they can't hardly stand in a line.  They know hunger.

In an effort to know, I fasted and prayed to experience physical emptiness.  For several days, I ate the same meal as kids in other parts of the world.   Eating their protien enriched fortified rice was different. It was tasteless actually.  But even just eating what they eat, I still didn't experience their hunger.  At the end of my day, I knew I would go home and eat some quick-fix-leftovers out of the fridge. There are many children that don't have that 
luxury. Their hunger has left their tummies empty.

In my few days of the hunger game, I felt shame.  With each bite, all I could think of was my crammed-pack cabinets that were busting with foods and snacks that are casually consumed with no regard for tomorrow. I was full of regret knowing that I have so much and they have so little.  I felt shame that when most times as I'm eating, I don't think about those who go without.  Hunger affects millions of children across the developing world.    For hungry children attending school, it can be a distraction that results in permanent weak brain function.   

Shame on me....I now understand a mother's shame when knowing that there isn't enough.  How do you deal with knowing that you don't have enough to feed your family or not knowing where your next meal is coming from?  How do you choose who gets to eat?  For me this is a game changer.      

Today, I have a better understanding of their tummy grumbles.  I have never really known hunger but I am hungry to know more.  What say you?  

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