How Hungry Are You?

File:Burj Dubai Under Construction on 25 January 2008.jpg

Burj Dubai a.k.a Burj Khalifa – World Tallest Building (I should add: as of 2010! Hope even taller buildings will be constructed soon…)

Construction Cost: $1.5 Billion

Read now:

starvation

“How great it is that not a single person need to wait before changing the world”

-Anne Frank

Before we continue I want you to first take a moment and reflect on the photos posted above. Assuming you have a pulse in your body, they should make you feel fairly uncomfortable. Maybe they make you feel sad? Or angry? Perhaps even both.

While reading this post today, I ask that you contemplate this question “Why, despite an abundant amount of food, shelter, and water, does poverty continue to exist?”

Theoretically and practically, poor people shall remain on Earth. And that’s so obvious. In a world of people earning even $3 million per day, there will be people earning $2.9 million too. They might be termed ‘poor’ accordingly…But the real problem (and real poor) is the people who cannot even afford basic requirements of life-Food, Clothing and Shelter and clean water (and sanitation too).

United Nations formulates 8 basic needs:

  • Food: Body Mass Index must be above 16.
  • Safe drinking water: Water must not come from solely rivers and ponds, and must be available nearby (less than 15 minutes walk each way).
  • Sanitation facilities: Toilets or latrines must be accessible in or near the home.
  • Health: Treatment must be received for serious illnesses and pregnancy.
  • Shelter: Homes must have fewer than four people living in each room. Floors must not be made of dirt, mud, or clay.
  • Education: Everyone must attend school or otherwise learn to read.
  • Information: Everyone must have access to newspapers, radios, televisions, computers, or telephones at home.

Wait..Wait.. Wait! Information? They formulate ‘Lack of Information’ in absolute poverty too…and here, 1.1 Billion people live below $1 a day! So, if take into account all these 8 points, where are we going to stand?

That is 1 in every 5 people of this world, lives in merely under $1 a day. Food+Clothes+Shelter+Clean Water (my conscience asks me not to include all 8 points into it or it’ll look both hilarious and shameful to me) : Within One Dollar!

30 Hour Famine:

Here I narrate an experience by one of my international friend:

This weekend a group of classmates and myself participated, in what was my second “30 Hour Famine.” This profound event, sponsored by World Vision , was put together to raise awareness and money in hopes to one day eradicate poverty in the world.

The event was simple. A group of about 70 students and myself gathered for a lock-in at our school and consciously fasted for 30 hours, giving us perhaps a small glimpse of what it feels like to be hungry. Raising money is easy, fasting for 30 hours is not.

Participating in the 30 Hour Famine was unfortunately not  as  popular as it should have been.

Some reasons I heard from friends who did not attend:

“I need to eat.”

“I’ll starve to death.”

” Starving myself will not raise money for the children.”

” I don’t have time.”

Starving myself will not raise money for the children. True! But  Why, despite an abundant amount of food, shelter, and water, does poverty continue to exist?”

While you’re here, check-out this Wikipedia page.

I must state 2 more statistics:

Number of people living below poverty line in:

China: 8%

India: 24%

Problem? Both of these countries have a population crossing 1 Billion. Calculate for yourself!

I am well aware that statistics do very little in regards to evoking emotion. Therefore I’m not going to bother you with stats like ” 1.1 billion people live on less than a dollar a day” or “26,000 thousand children under the age of 5 die everyday to due to poverty.” I’m not going to bother letting you know that 8 billion dollars  a year could provide food for everyone in the world, and that Americans spend 14 billion dollars a year on diet products. I got two data for the money Americans spend on pet food: One says, $16.7 Billion, and other $45.5 Billion (Source: American Pet Products Association)”

Instead I’m going to try to do something different with you today.

Picture a loved one.

How does that person make you feel?

This could be your mom, dad, brother or sister, your son, your daughter or perhaps even your best friend.

I want you to picture the joy and  excitement that this person brings you.

For a moment simply feel.

Now I want you to imagine,  this person laying in your arms.

Their stomach bloated from starvation. Looking  into your eyes,their body dying for food, they cry “feed me“. You have no food to give them.

You stare back at them hopeless. There’s nothing you can do.

Your loved one soon dies in your arms.

Now if you did this exercise correctly you should be feeling pretty emotional right now. For hundreds of thousands of parents around the world this nightmare isn’t an exercise, it is reality in which they face every single day.

When I do this exercise I picture my girlfriend.  I can not fathom one day watching her die because she can’t eat. Can you let your loved one die in your arms starving?

The thought of children and parents dying as I lay asleep in my bed makes me want to cry.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.

How Hungry Are You?

I’m going to be perfectly honest. For most of my life I have lived a life of ignorance. For most of my life I haven’t given a damn about those around me. For most of my life it’s been all about me. For most of my life I’ve turned my back on service because I’ve had “better” things to do. Yet as I have grown older I have come to realize the error in my ways. Years ago I realized I was lucky, now I realize that it’s up to me make a difference.

It’s up to us to make a difference. Changing the world lies in our mindset. Stop thinking you can’t make a difference because you can. Follow your heart and give. Doing service is positively correlated, the more you do the more you will want to do. Quit sitting back waiting for others to solve our problems.

The solution is you.

I was debating on whether or not to put a list of organizations that you could contact to help give, yet I think it’s best you do your on research. There are hundreds if not thousands of organizations out there that want to make a difference, make sure to choose one’s that are congruent with your purpose. If you are completly lost I suggest you check out Free Rice.

The 30 hour famine made my friend’s mates hungry. The funny thing was, this hunger didn’t go away for me too.No this hunger remains with me today. The 30 hour famine left me hungry, hungry for change. The question is how hungry are you?

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