There—a child just died of hunger. According to the World Food Programme, this happens every six seconds. Think about it too much and you will dive into a depression hole so deep that not even an hour-long episode of 30 Rock guest-starring Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifianakis will get you out.
But we do have to think about it a little bit. Bear with me.
As I sit here trying to ignore my hunger pangs while in the middle of a long day of fasting, it doesn't escape me that there are millions of people fasting involuntarily right now, and every day. In fact, I'm sitting at work, where we conduct emergency food distributions to malnurished refugees in the Horn of Africa, among other programs. It's kind of hard to ignore the world's poor, but we all do it on a regular basis.
There are also a staggering number of Americans in this situation as well, with as many as 1 in 6 children going to bed hungry every night in one of the richest countries in the world. How can this be when we throw around 40% or more of our food away?
It breaks my heart to think of their little faces scrunching up in pain as their empty tummies keep them awake—while we sleep off the huge meals of fat, salt, and sugar that are slowly killing us, ruining the environment, and making us go broke.
I don't want this to become a long and preachy treatise on corporate greed, disgusting consumer behavior, and the apathy of the average person regarding the problems of others. There is a lot of hope out there and many, many people and companies are doing a lot of good things to end hunger and poverty here and abroad. You should look into food rescue programs like Second Harvest Heartland and others who are totally trying to end food waste.
It's just all very interesting when you put it in the perspective of a relatively healthy and financially stable person (me) going without eating for over 17 hours a day by choice to fulfill a religious obligation. Am I learning from this experience? Will I do anything differently after Ramadan?
I hope that I will think back to these words every time I start to complain about anything. I know that Allah, the Almighty, the Most Merciful, can ease the pain of hungry children in this life and will reward them immensely in the next for what they endured. I'm the one really in need here, as I rack up sins and forget about others in spite of this heartfelt soap box speech.
WOW. This will go down as my least funny blog post ever. But that's ok with me. It can't always be chuckles and sunshine. Those are the names of my two new office plants, I just decided. Here's a pic so you can "meet" them and put names to faces:
|I don't need to tell you who's who here.|
Here's to better days tomorrow, for everyone!