Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Hunger speaks

Be grateful you don’t know me.
The hunger you know when you wake up, fresh from a deep and restful sleep following a good meal the previous night, your stomach rumbling gently, is nothing like me.

I am the hunger that makes you claw at your belly. T
he hunger of the always-empty stomach. 

The hunger that might drive a mother crazy enough to make her kids eat chalk or mud just to assuage their hunger pangs.

The hunger that cares little for morals or values or even God, unless they are edible.

The hunger that can steal, maim or kill for bread.

Sometimes I wonder why you do nothing about me. It can’t be for want of food, because you clearly have more than enough. Did you know that the earth provides enough food for every being on the planet?

So much food that there are people who are chronically obese. While food, tons of it, is thrown into the garbage bins.

Why then do people go hungry? Hundreds of millions of them?

You over-stuff your plates, then find that you have no appetite, or the food is not as good as you’d like it to be. And you shovel it into the bin without a qualm.

When I think of the vast numbers of people who might have lived had they had a portion, a few morsels, of the food you throw away, I choke with misery.

If I were you, I’d consider it a sin to waste food. Or over-eat.

With all your excess, you suffer from allergies and intolerance to certain kinds of food. The hungry are never allergic to food. I make the most insipid, badly cooked meal taste like a king’s feast.

When you’re in the mood to be charitable, you donate some food to the poor. It makes you feel happy.

Good deed done for the day? Check.

Does that stop you from wasting or over-eating the rest of the year?

Do you spare any thought for those dying of starvation or malnutrition?

Have you ever wondered what it must feel like to be unaware about where your next meal might be coming from?

How can you go to bed every night, and dream your epic dreams, knowing that there are people out there who will go to sleep hungry? Little children with distended bellies crying, unable to out-cry their growling stomachs.

Doesn’t it seem unfair to you that you have so much, and they eat out of the trash heap?

Can you try sharing a meal you don’t want with a beggar or a street child? Instead of throwing it away?

Pray that you may never know real hunger.

Or maybe you should get to know me, just once.

Then you’ll know.


  1. Hello Cynthia,

    Here in the USA, there is hunger. There are homeless people; I was one of them not so long ago. But, my hunger and homeless state are not the same in the 1st world as they would be in the 3rd world and you are so right about that.

    I am now "retired" which is a polite way of saying I am disabled at too early an age and can no longer pursue the things which made my life full. What makes my life full now is the knowledge that I CAN give to those who are hungry; not a lot, but a little, because I have a little bit more than the homeless and I have a little bit more than the truly hungry and needy. Thanks for the reminder that there is still such suffering in this world. Mary, #teamDamyanti, A-to-Z Challenge, aka Viola Fury. On Twitter @ViolaFury.

  2. Some people swell up with pride, some with hunger ~ read it somewhere

  3. What a hard hitting post, Cynthia. I have often resisted the temptation to thrash people who waste and throw away food just because they didn't like the taste or it is fashionable. Look st our Indian weddings or any other functions where food rules supreme, there is so much wastage that it boils my blood. I read the entire post with a lump in throat.

  4. Hello Hunger, and I really dont know you well, thank you for sharing your point of view.....I try to live by the maxim waste not want not....

  5. Read Vasudhas blog and now urs, A thought provoking post. I atleast make sure always that I am not wasting food!
    Good one cynth

  6. Just WOW! You are using this A-Z to such good effect. Such incredibly powerful posts. I'm amazed.

    And you're painfully right on the money with this one.

  7. A powerful message indeed. It is awful to see how much food gets wasted in cafeterias, in weddings, in homes, in 'eating' competitions.

  8. I feel thw the same way about food wastage Cynthia. I hope people remember this post the next time they are about to throw something edible

  9. Living in Central America gives me an up close and very personal view of what hunger does to people. Thanks for writing this post it was powerful and very accurate.

  10. Your words are powerful and thought provoking. I realize how very lucky I am to live in Canada, have a job and decent place to live. There is so much waste in first-world nations that it's sickening. I try to give as much as I can to those in need and do my part to not be wasteful but I know that my efforts are just a drop in the pan.

  11. A powerful read,Cynthia ! Keep it up !

  12. Hard-hitting. Makes you wonder about the ways of the world. Of the warehouses filled with sacks of grain,left for rats to gnaw for fungus to gather, and then which is destroyed. Vegetables destroyed because they do not fetch the price desired.
    What my children heard from me all the time if they wrinkled their nose at anything on the table: There are millions out surviving on a single meal a day, or not even that. Be thankful for what you have!



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