Tag Archives: commodities

bread is bread

The satiated man and the hungry one do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread. – Rumi

Someone once told me that perception is reality. It took a little time for me to fully understand that piece of wisdom, but once I did, it has had a big influence on my relational skills.

Rumi, the well-known and much beloved Sufi poet, describes this by painting us a compelling picture.

Bread is bread, right? Maybe, but maybe not.

For most of us bread is just another commodity, another item to pick up at the store or check off a long grocery list. But to others bread is life or death, something to fantasize over, something that occupies every waking moment.

Those of us blessed with enough food are blessed to have numerous problems. Those that are hungry this morning have only one…bread.

Rumi is right. A loaf of bread is a loaf of bread, but it smells far better to some.

averting a greater tragedy

Thousands of our family have already died of the Ebola virus. The epidemic continues to spread far more rapidly than medical providers can begin to handle. Liberia and Sierra Leone, two of the worst impacted countries in West Africa have been brought to a standstill, with Ebola wrecking their economies as well as the lives of their people. And now cases of Ebola have been recognized both in Europe and also in the United States.

Credible estimates report that this deadly epidemic could claim as high as 50,000 lives before the end of the year.  That is a staggering number. But, as frightening as that figure might be, it is far from the most frightening number.

Those succumbing to the disease are just the beginning of the tragedy. Ebola has already begun to cause hunger in the West African countries hardest hit, and that hunger will grow exponentially in the weeks and months to come.

Farmers are unable to work their field for fear of being infected. The harvest will be late and lean.

Village markets have shut down as people avoid gathering. Basic food stuffs and commodities are becoming more scarce.

The price of food, rice in particular, has begun to rise. And the downward spiral toward widespread hunger begins.

Ebola has already claimed thousands of victims and it will claim thousands more. But hunger, which has already begun, will attack millions throughout the affected region.

The best cure for Ebola has yet to be discovered. But we already know how to stop hunger, and now is the time to begin. By the end of the year we will see another much larger crisis than the actual epidemic. Now is the time to do what we can to prevent widespread hunger and malnutrition through West Africa.