Hunger can mean so many things to different people based on their circumstances. The standard definition of Hunger that we all know and feel occasionally is the lack of sustenance to meet our basic nutritional needs, going without food for a long period or yet still hunger is when our brains tell us it’s time to get some food into our bellies.
But challenges in life can define what hunger means to every individual. We all experience some form of hunger be it physical or metaphorical hunger that drives a person to want to achieve more for one’s life. And through this article, I will attempt to establish what hunger really means to people with diverse experiences in life.
Besides the desire to have something you are being denied over a long period of time, in my opinion, is considered as some form of hunger. This I am sure is the source of the expression “wanting something so bad that you can taste “connotes this form of desire. In essence” desire “or “craving” is connoted as” food”. In fact, people go on hunger strike to as a means of protest draw attention to their plight.
Hunger if not satisfied or resolved can present a series of problems; starvation, malnutrition, death and in a worst case scenario cannibalism as means of survival. An instance of such an occurrence was the Biafra war (1967-1970) in Nigeria. The Igbo people were fighting for an independent state as a result of cultural, ethnic, religious and economic tensions with the Hausa in the North. Extreme hunger is alleged to have resulted in cannibalism for survival. Throughout history, hunger has been used as a weapon in warfare Hitler and the Third Reich (Nazi Party) used hunger as a means of exterminating majority of the Jewish people in Europe. Coincidentally, Adolf Hitler, the dictator was born in a time of hunger and economic hardships that was being experienced by Germany after their failure to win the First World War and the signing of the Versailles Treaty which collapsed their economy in their efforts to honor the treaty.
In other alternatives it drives people to fight for what they don’t have through inspiration to make something positive out of a bad situation; others result to physical desperation resulting in violence and in extreme cases wars which are usually the root of most conflicts around the globe. Conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone all begun, when economic hardships and inequality in these countries resulted in hunger of the masses which started a chain reaction where soldiers took up arms toppled the established government. When people are hungry for political, religious, economic and civil liberty and it is denied it usually results in disaster. When
Hunger goes unchecked it serves as a catalyst for terrible but avoidable situations. For that matter, I get worried when nations with fragile democratic systems especially in Africa experience issues concerning corruption where a privileged few enjoy the national cake whilst the rest of the citizens feel the hunger. Such situations can spiral out of control and the end result can leave a very sour taste in the mouths of the populace or even soldiers who decide to use violence to appease their hunger.
However under no circumstances should hunger be taken lightly including all forms of it physical, emotional, political, intellectual and ideological hunger. Because when people decide not to take it seriously it can be used for good or for bad. Some great ideas and inventions were born out of people who were hungry for success and terrible dictators and terrorist were also born in times of hunger when hunger was not nipped in the bud.
There was once a renowned photo journalist (Kevin Carter) who took a picture of a starving girl in Sudan walking on arid land trying to reach a feeding center but as he took the picture the girl fell down.In this picture as the girl fell a vulture descended close to her body as to what happened to her, we will never know her fates. Interestingly he was hungry for a story that would make headlines, in fact, he won Pulitzer award for this moving picture. While the hungry girl may have been preyed upon by that vulture. The story was published by the New York Times and became a worldwide sensation around the world in 1994.Kevin Carter died three months later by suicide and in his last note he felt haunted by the starvation and dying he had seen in Sudan
By now, you may be wondering why I am going on and on about hunger.
On the 20 of August 2014, I woke up to disturbing images of the beheading of an American journalist by an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant) soldier in a Balaklava. I asked myself why all this hate in the name of religion. After 9/11, the war in Iraq/ Afghanistan and the capture of Osama Bin Ladin I hoped the world will make a change but I guess I am a childish dreamer. I began to wonder what drives humanity to lose value for the lives of others. Could it be that we are all hungry for something we want to satisfy?
After the progress mankind has made in all forms of modern advancement that make life easier for a lot of people I am surprised some parts of the world is still stuck in the dark ages with so much gore and barbarism. Throughout history, we have learnt that war has never solved political, economic or even religious ideologies which in my opinion are the most dangerous of all. But as humans, I think we never learn from our past misfortunes.
I do get scared of how the world is becoming a sad place to live in.It just dawned on me this perspective and question: Is it hunger that drives a man to act so mean to each other’s or it is just in our nature to act so wickedly toward each other ?.Does fear of hunger influence us toward violence or it is a survival thing: when denied or afraid to go hungry results in a struggle to have enough to avoid hunger.
The difference and similarities between man and a lion is quiet simple.Naturally, carnivores hunt their prey to eat, mankind also hunts to feed. But the moment we reduce ourselves to all kinds of brutal tactics when lions even exhibit mercy toward one another then it becomes a problem. Violence as a means of selling ideologies means there is something eternally wrong with humanity. One interesting but sad aspect is that after so much carnage and unnecessary loss of life opposing groups result to dialogue. It would be nice for a change if people just respected each other and stuck to their promises guess I am a naïve individual living in fool’s paradise but I think my dreams for humanity are achievable if we try.
Maybe I have not been faced with true desperation before; maybe I have not experienced suffering and hunger before so I may never understand what actions result in so much hatred leading to the killing of others to justify a cause to further the agenda of a political or religious violence. It may be that such people are hungry for something they cannot have.
But have we ever thought of trying to satisfy each other’s hunger?
I mean in a positive way how have we tried to provide positive sustenance for others lets help and try to encourage each other to improve our world let positivity be the end result of our hunger. Let’s give birth to great ideas to solve the world’s problems through hunger. Let’s feed the hungry be your brother’s keepers do not wait for something to happen before we help one another.”Do not stand and stare or do nothing but do something it is not always about what you feel but what is right”
If we could show mercy and satisfy the hunger of others both physically and literally the world may be less hatred towards one another.
Let’s make it a conscious effort to alleviate hunger by paying attention to the needs of others you will help to change the world in your own small way “evil prevails when good men do nothing” (Edmund Burke).
POSITIVE HUNGER TO EVERYONE