War is hell. I know. I have experienced it.
Hunger is hell. I know. I have seen it
I have seen war and I have seen hunger. Nothing can adequately prepare you for either.
Experiencing the violence of combat is terrifying.
Seeing a starving child is terrifying. Seeing the parents of a starving child is even more terrifying.
I know. I have held far too many malnourished and starving children in my arms…Over the past 35 years I have learned that basic humanity demands more than platitudes for the hungry. Morality demands more than compassion. Morality demands action.
I have watched children so hungry here in the US they’ve torn into a 50 lb. bag of potatoes, stuffing raw potatoes into their mouths, gnawing through the dirt to put something in their bellies.
I have watched elderly women, mothers & grandmothers kneel in the frozen Afghanistan mud to pick up individual grains of wheat fallen from bags of relief food.
I have talked with 14 & 15 year old commercial sex workers in Zambia who prostitute themselves so they can eat. When I asked about the threat of HIV/AIDS their answer was as direct as it was chilling:
“If I get AIDS I know I will die, but it will be 3 or 4 years. If I have no food I will starve very quickly.”
I have watched grieving mothers holding their malnourished infants too weak to save. The pain in their eyes will follow me to my grave.
Hunger is hell. And we allow it to exist. If there is any justice in the world our hell will be far worse and for eternity.