How hungry are you? Hunger comes in different forms, but when you are hungry, you want something of substance to bite into. Our stomachs rumble when we need food. Our minds swirl when we want knowledge. Our bodies twitch when we need exercise.
Are you hungry enough?
We all need to be aware of our physical hunger. This is what keeps our bodies fueled to do the work we need to accomplish each and every day. But there is also a different type of hunger. It is of a more emotional, social and spiritual nature.
These ‘hunger pain’s need to be addressed, just as seriously as we would food for our bodies. But exactly what does that mean – to feed our emotions, or society and our spirits? It’s called Love.
Take ‘Hungry’ into Consideration
Here are a few things to consider whether or not you are ‘hungry enough’ to feed your mind, body and spirit:
If you make a big batch of soup, too much to eat alone, but refuse to share with the neighbor down the road who is going through financial problems, you just aren’t hungry enough.
If you prefer to watch some mind-numbing program on television instead of picking up a book, you just aren’t hungry enough.
If you are too busy to volunteer at least once a year with a soup kitchen, crisis center, or children’s hospital, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you look down your nose at the farmer tending his garden, and head to the grocery store to buy your food, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you jump on a bandwagon without taking the time to research both sides of the story, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you prefer spending time at work rather than spending time with your spouse and children, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you aren’t willing to study hard to get that degree, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you aren’t willing to take the extra effort to reach your goal, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you easily give in the first time you fail at something, then you aren’t hungry enough.
If you are stuck in a rut, but don’t want to use the energy to learn something new, then you just aren’t hungry enough.
If you are starved for conversation or a healthy relationship, whether it’s a friend or significant other, and you aren’t willing to go to church, take a class in a subject you are interested in, or join a group that celebrates something you enjoy doing, then you just aren’t hungry enough.
What is ‘True’ Hunger?
True hunger means going the extra mile, regardless of how rocky the road may be. True hunger means being willing to give all it takes to accomplish your goals.
True hunger means understanding what it feels like to be lonely, empty, hurting, sad, and in physical pain, and then turning around and holding a person’s hand who is going through the same time.
True hunger means going the extra mile to read, research and fully understand what both sides of an issue stand for, and choosing wisely on which side you stand. True hunger means that you give up some of what is important to you to that you spend time with someone to whom you are important.
True hunger means taking the initiative to pull yourself up out of that rut and visit a library, attend a conference or finding a mentor to teach you something new and different. Learn to square or line dance. Take a Community Education class at your local college. Or become a volunteer.
Using Your Skills to Offset Being ‘Hungry’
I have witnessed, and participated in, something that others are considering a ‘con’. This happens when someone in a grocery store line in front of you doesn’t have the money to pay for______________ (diapers, food, necessities, etc. You fill in the blank.)
Some feel like they are being set up, and refuse to help. Others are quick to pay for the groceries. Which is the right approach?
I learned a lesson about this from my Aunt Dot years ago. She gave money to a ‘family in need’ at a rest stop while we were traveling.
Me, in all my 16 years of ‘wisdom’ ‘kindly informed’ her that these were probably con artists, just waiting to strip her of her money.
To this day, her words still echo in my ears:
“That may be. But if so, they are the ones who will have to pay the consequences of their actions. But what if they were honestly in need? We will never know someone else’s circumstances. As for me, I believe with all my heart to assist others who need a helping hand. That is the right way to treat others, and I know I have done my part. Besides, if they are con artists, they may one day see all the goodness in folks who helped them, and that just may be the thing that changes their lifestyle.”
Aunt Dot made perfect sense (and knocked me off my pedestal in the same breath). So, to this day, I choose to err on the side of goodness, kindness and mercy. If I see someone in need, I will help if I am able.
There have been times when I have discovered a true ‘con’. In that case, I simply either offer a bottle of cold water, or keep moving forward. It’s called discernment, and that is one of the best tools we have in our life’s toolbox.
Use the skills you have to help others, and before you know it, you won’t be hungry any longer, but will find that you are feeding the hungry.
If more of us were ‘hungry enough’, this world just might end up being a better place.