Anyone who has ever experienced real hunger knows the feeling of absolute desperation that accompanies this biological drive. There are not too many experiences that can compare to it. At the most basic level, this is why we go out to work every day. It is the main reason among many that we wake up every day to face the daily grind. We work to provide our daily bread, not only for ourselves, but also for our families and loved ones. We do not ever want to experience that feeling of desperation that comes with and from hunger. Some of us will never experience such desperation, and will go about living our daily lives, oblivious to the kind of heart wrenching despair, and anxiety that is associated with it.
For many, the luxury of looking into a refrigerator filled with food, then exclaiming “oh my gosh there is ‘nothing’ to eat in the fridge,” because there is nothing appealing to our taste buds at the moment, is a luxury that we often times do not fully appreciate. In moments like these, one can simply hop in the car and drive down to a favorite fast food outlet to satisfy the moment’s craving. Other times, after getting over the shock “that there is ‘nothing’ to eat,” some might choose to quickly gather up some ingredients lying around the house, or yes, in the refrigerator, and put together something that is more appealing to the palate. Others may simply make a run to the supermarket, and gather some food items that would help them to put something more appealing together. In some instances when there is “‘nothing’ in the fridge to eat,” some people will simply go without eating anything for the moment until they figure out exactly what it is they feel like eating, because nothing at the moment will “satisfy” them.
Many people talk about how they are “picky eaters.” By that, they mean that they have many quirks about what they would eat. They will not eat their food if it is not prepared a certain way, or if it’s not the right temperature. Some people refuse to eat food that is not freshly prepared. If it’s food from the previous day, they will not touch it. They would rather throw out “stale” food than eat it. Such is life for many of the people who have never known what it is to contend with the ferocious pangs of hunger. They do not know what it is to wake up to a cupboard that is truly empty, or a refrigerator that really has nothing to eat, or wonder from where their next meal is going to come.
Yes indeed, food on the table is something that many people take for granted. In a world where people eat not only for physical sustenance, but for pleasure, it is hard to imagine that for many, such a world does not exist. For the people who eat just for sustenance, the world of ice cream and cake is reserved for the privileged, or people in the movies. Cereal and milk is unheard of, and so is milkshake. They will never know the pure delight of indulging in a slice of cheese cake, and there is no such thing as treating themselves to chocolate, brownies, gummy bears, or coconut granola bars.
In many places around the world people live on a bowl of rice a day, and they count themselves lucky for what they do have.. They never get second servings when they eat. People in the United States and other parts of the world have grown so accustomed to a life of plenty that they think this is the norm everywhere, but it is not. Hundreds of millions of people around the world live in abject poverty and suffer from a lack of food. Many of them are literally dying because they have no food to eat. Millions of children are malnourished, and wasting away and their growth is stunted because they really have nothing to eat. The suffering of these people is unimaginable, and just to survive for perhaps another day or a few more hours, many of them dig in garbage dumps where a rotten morsel of food is like a delicacy to them.
The standard of living that we enjoy here, and in a few other places around the world is not the Norm for many people around the world. For hundreds of millions of the world’s poor, they lead an existence where extreme poverty is the norm, suffering is a matter of course and satisfying their hunger is a dream. We often tend to focus on the things that we do not have. People often complain about their lack of amenities, and many others spend a significant portion of their lives chasing after the latest, hottest consumer items. Many complain about how difficult life is without ever really appreciating the many blessings in their lives. Sure, we all have legitimate needs. People have obligations and responsibilities that they must meet, and they do cause people to legitimately worry about whether or not they can meet their needs. Despite all of this though, let us stop for a moment, and appreciate that for most of us in this country, we have food on our tables and can satisfy our most basic need. Most of us will never know what desperate hunger is