Eric made a wonderful dinner for the family tonight. We had a delicious brined, baked turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole (fresh and from scratch), deviled eggs and cranberry sauce. It was a wonderful meal. Before I took my first bit I did what I have come to do on a regular basis: I thanked the universal all for the food before me, and sent a wish that all people in the world could have enough to eat. Today though, it made me just a little more sad than it typically does.
Thanksgiving has come to be a day of family and food, a time when many fill their plates once or twice or more, never walking away hungry. Regretfully, most of them give no real thanks, and take all that food for granted. Never once do they entertain the thought of a year without so much food that much of it gets thrown away. They don’t take so much as a moment to consider all the people in the world who are going hungry at that very moment that they’re going back for seconds.
Today I thought about that even more. As I savored each bite of my dinner, I kept my mind on those who have little or nothing. I sent my plea out to the universe for all people to have enough to eat. The sad thing is, there’s more than enough food in the world to feed everyone. No one on this planet actually needs to go hungry. We’re taught that there is a lack, that starvation happens because there isn’t enough food to go around. The truth is that there’s more than enough, but some people are taking far too much. Think of all the food that people throw away in their own homes. Think about all the waste from stores and restaurants. Think of all the “art” made from food. There’s plenty of food in the world, and we can grow even more. Unfortunately, it’s just not getting to those who need it.
I have no doubt that there are people going hungry in my own town tonight, and it hurts my heart to think of it. There are hungry people all over the world as I write this. All I can think is that we need to do more. Each and every one of us has to do more. We need to buy only what we really need. We need to eat our leftovers and not allow things to spoil. We need to donate to places that feed the hungry. We need to chastise those who live in excess with no thought for those who have less. We need to make the world aware that there is more than enough food for every person on the planet, if only we’d band together to get it to them or teach them how to grow it themselves. No one has to go hungry. It simply doesn’t have to happen, and we could make sure that hunger ends.
So as you sit tonight with your belly full and leftovers to store, think about those who had little or nothing. Give thanks for all that you have, and pray for those who have less. Then, begin to think about what you can do to start making a change in the world. If every single person did one small thing, the result would be amazing. We don’t have to start some grand organization or petition the president. Each of us can be more mindful, less wasteful, more giving, and institute changes that will build a better future. All it takes is for each person to take one small action.