21 December 2010

Conviction: Starved

Yesterday, I gave you a little information on how many people in the world, and how many children in the world suffer from hunger. So today, let's talk about what hunger really is!

Hunger is simple as far as our definitions are concerned. However, in deference to our previous definitions, here it is:

hun·ger   /ˈhʌŋgər/ [huhng-ger]
1. a compelling need or desire for food.
2. the painful sensation or state of weakness caused by the need of food: to collapse from hunger. 3. a shortage of food; famine.

A need or desire, a sensation, a shortage -- hunger is a very bodily thing. You feel hunger, you have hunger, you are hungry. Unlike our previous definitions, I think that in the case of hunger, all of the definitions are necessary and important to our learning.

For you and I, we will most certainly feel hungry in our lifetimes. Actually, probably this morning, after you rolled out of bed and finished checking your email (I know you did it!) you thought: "Gee. I could really go for a bowl of cereal." So you wandered out to your kitchen and fixed a bowl.

It's not out of the ordinary to feel hunger, that's the first definition: a need or desire that compels you to find some chow.

The second and third definitions? Well, it's a little less likely that you or I will experience these. This is a sense of hunger, an aching in your stomach that isn't caused by a few hours without a meal, but by a few days. And a single meal won't fix it, either, though it's a step in the right direction. Perhaps its not that you didn't get a meal, you just didn't get enough of a meal for weeks on end.

I don't know about you, but I can't imagine experiencing it myself. And it saddens me that other people have to experience that.

I'm not going to tell you to stop saying anything in respect to people who suffer from hunger. I don't care if you say "I'm starving!" or "I'm so hungry I could die!" because when you say you are starving, that may well be the hungriest you have ever been. Instead, keep your eyes peeled and look for a way to help. Those will be here at the end of the week!

Until next time, how have you noticed the way food is used and misused? Leftovers, food thrown away, extra food sent to food banks? Tell me about it!

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