Hunger

Six million people die of hunger every year. Television, newspapers, magazines, and relief organizations have provided awareness for this global crisis, yet people have neglected, abandoned, and shunned it year after year. I have to admit that I was once as ignorant as these people. Article after article written in newspapers and the plethora of awareness shows on television could not grab my attention. The hunger crisis to me was just like a bad grade on a test. For a day or two I would be deeply concerned, but after that, my concern would fade away. My indifference towards the hunger crisis didn’t last long though. A day came when a video posted online struck me and made me realize the horrible effects of global hunger.

A gaunt, old man carries with him a large trash bag as he rides his bike toward a nearby KFC. The KFC is closed, but the man proceeds into the building with his trash bag. He sneaks into the back of the kitchen and eagerly starts digging in a big trashcan. Pieces of chicken bone are being pulled out, along with insignificant pieces of meat attached to the bones. All of the chicken pieces have been contaminated with people’s saliva and germs, but the old man keeps on adding more and more chicken pieces into his trash bag. He finally finishes filling up his trash bag and rides back home into the countryside. Hundreds of little children come running at him with big smiles on their faces and tears of joy running down their cheeks. As hungry as those children are, each child only takes one piece of chicken because they know there is not enough for everyone. The old man saves up a little portion in his hand and heads back to his family’s house. His 4-year old daughter and 6-year old son clap their hands together as they see their father bring home such a delightful meal. Before the children are allowed to eat, the old man tells them to give thanks for the wonderful food they have been provided with. All these things were part of the video that I unexpectedly clicked on from a Facebook link and watched. Unlike all the other shows I have seen on television about hunger, this video struck me hard. Nothing I went through my entire life could match what those people in the video had to go through, and I was the one who continuously complained about eating the same types of food everyday. The food I wasted for a day was more than how much those kids ate for a week. My world was different from their world. I felt ashamed of myself for always taking simple things for granted. Food to me was like an automatic necessity that was given to me everyday. The only time I experienced hunger was when I decided to go on a diet, but this type of hunger does not come close to the type of hunger portrayed in the video. I starved myself because I wanted to lose weight, but those kids in the video starved themselves because they could not afford it. They never complained about their lives and were humble for the little food they got.

It didn’t take long after that day for me to realize the horrors of global hunger. Babies, kids, and adults in different parts of the country are struggling every day to survive from hunger. Hunger has plagued them for years and has made their tummies feel empty. The most sickening part comes when their bodies can no longer hold in the pain and start to wither away. The pieces of bread and meat I threw away at every meal could have saved hundreds of those dying people. My recent trip to Hong Kong exposed me to this reality. The streets of the Hong Kong flea markets were filled with beggars. Their eyes presented a sense of insecurity that could not be taken away. No matter how hard they tried to beg, people walked past them like they were particles of dust.

After my trip to Hong Kong, I committed myself to join an organization, World Vision that does community service and raises money for the poor. In the past 3 years, I have participated in World Vision’s 30 hr famine, in which I got to experience what hunger feels like for thirty hours. These thirty hours are nothing compared to what the kids in the video have to go through every day, but I felt satisfied for supporting a good cause. Being involved in these activities has helped me grow as a person and has helped me become more aware of global hunger. Sometimes I still forget what it feels like to be hungry, but thinking about the old man and the little children has made me remember again, remember the other world.





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