I have never called it duty, but I love this quote by Bukowski, my favorite contemporary poet. My entire adult life has been consumed with a burning desire to create a world without hunger. That focus has led me to over 100 countries and more areas of conflict and devastation than I can count, and it has introduced me to an entire world of caring and compassionate people who live to make a difference in the lives of those most in need.
Now, as the flames are starting to burn a little less intensely I am gratified to see that the world has finally realized that ending hunger in our lifetime is a significant priority. I am gratified to see that the United Nations has set a measurable goal of ending hunger by 2030.
Whether I see a hunger-free world or not, the ashes of my life will forever hold the warmth of all those who have given themselves to this grand, glorious and world-changing vision. Thank you, one and all, for caring enough to help end hunger in our lifetime.
Charles Bukowski. or Buk to his loyal fans such as myself, is one of this country’s best-known contemporary poets. Born in Germany, he was brought to the US when he was three. He died in 1994 at the age of 73. During his lifetime he published over 45 books of poetry and prose, many translated into over a dozen languages.
I have always been attracted to his raw and unvarnished content as well as his clear and direct style. This quote is a straightforward declaration on responsible living in today’s world. Although I am sure Bukowski didn’t intend it this way, the statement is truth.
In a world of hunger, the secret to happiness and fulfillment is not in our futile efforts to always acquire more. The answer lies in Bukowski’s words. There is deep truth in understanding that less is more.
Charles Bukowski ranks as my favorite contemporary poet. He died in 1994, but he wrote in a brutally honest, smash-mouth style that reflects the reality of the world in which we live. He was a writer’s writer and never minced words or pulled his punches.
This quote is typical Bukowski, although maybe a bit tamer than much of his writing. But, as in most of his work, he nails it again. If we really want to make a difference, if we truly want to change the world, we have to save one person at a time.
And that’s hard. That’s damnably hard, far harder than most are willing to admit.