Right, I’ve been quiet for a while and I’m sorry, I’ve been out of routine but the last week I’ve literally had no work so I’ve got no excuse. Hopefully now I’ll get back into routine and post once a week. Okay, now the housekeeping’s out the way…
I’m going to guess most of you are on social networks these days (I’d be extremely impressed if you got here and you’re not). It’s great isn’t it? So many new ways to communicate, share information and engage with each other and the world. Unfortunately, I think we all know there have been some negative effects and it’s one of these I’m focusing on. I think being able to broadcast information to no-one in particular (in the form statuses or tweets) means we say a lot of things unnecessarily. What I’m talking about specifically is complaints; moaning. Petty ones. Stuff like “I’m hungry but getting food would mean moving” or “I can’t believe my mum wouldn’t do/get me what I’m too lazy to do/that expensive thing I want.” Check out #firstworldproblems for more examples (yes, yes, I know many people use it ironically, still good examples). The freedom social media gives can make us attention seek; find things to complain about.
Before I carry on I want to point out that people have genuine issues in their lives which are serious and need attention (depression, family breakdown, bullying etc). I’m not completely sure social networks are the appropriate place to broadcast them and I’m afraid I question the motives of the people who do – but these are not what I’m talking about here.
Whenever I see these petty complaints I get a little ruffled. Slight understatement there, really. It really, really bugs me. Because you know what; if you have a roof over your head, you have a mother and you have enough food in your house that you can snack whenever you want, you are extremely lucky. You are in a minority in this world to have all those things. We in the West just don’t seem to get it. Sadly, I am guilty of this myself. Unless prompted, I just forget. I don’t think of it. It doesn’t cross my mind as I’m thinking about keeping food costs down to stretch my student budget as far as I can that, actually, I can afford three proper meals a day with snacks, no problem. Meanwhile across the world millions and millions of people are dying of hunger.
So actually, I have a surplus to what I need to survive. As a nation (UK) we throwaway about 4 million tonnes of food (probably more – that’s an old stat) that is avoidable (by better management of food; not buying more than you need etc). To be frank, it’s just disgusting when right now people going hungry.
Many people who don’t believe in God and find it hard to understand things like why he doesn’t intervene in this situation – why he doesn’t solve world hunger for us. I completely see where these people are coming from. But God has given us everything we need to solve the problems, we just need to act. Throughout the Bible we see God choosing to use his people to do his work. He doesn’t need to but he wants use us anyway. It is achievable, though obviously not easy.
The Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign was launched last week. Over one hundred charitable organisations are involved (including many Christian ones – Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, World Vision – as well as most major churches), and they are all working to make the end of world hunger possible. Check out what the campaign is trying to do on Tearfund’s blog and then go and sign up to support the cause at enoughfoodif.org.
This is possible. This is doable. It won’t be easy and it requires a lot of people working together and doing the right thing. But I for one can’t just stand by and complain about the energy required to walk to the supermarket to choose from a great selection of food while so many in this world have none. Can you?
For another great view on this check out this Threads article and browse their other articles while you’re there – got some great insights to pretty much all aspects of life.