I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have a roof over my head. We’ve got food in our refrigerator (often more than we ever finish eating), and my closet has clothes that rotate with the seasons. That makes me (and likely you) better off than 83% of the WORLD’S POPULATION, a staggering number that we can easily forget about when we have access to so many “things.”
But frankly, we aren’t often confronted with the statistics. Nor are those people who are suffering sitting in your living room.
I am also fortunate in that I have a lovely young woman from Venezuela that takes care of our son for us while we work. Her mother arrived from Venezuela this week. It’s her mother’s first time to America. I got to meet her today. I asked them what they did on her first day, and part of her tour of Denver was touring the massive supermarkets.
At first I laughed. I asked, where?
My heart sank in embarrassment.
I know from our nanny that the people in Venezuela are really suffering. They can’t get enough food. They don’t have access to toilet paper and basic needs. Their economy is bad. It’s unsafe there. Crimes and violence is rampant.
And here, in the U.S., we have Walmart’s that average 102,000 SQUARE FEET. Our shelves are stocked from floor to ceiling, not just with toilet paper, but five different kinds of toilet paper. Not with cereal, but 30 different kinds of cereal. Not just with some seasonal produce, but bounties of produce.
This isn’t just in the food departments, it’s everything. It’s rows and rows and rows of shit. We are a nation and country of consumerism. Look at Bed, Bath, and Beyond – another store that you walk in that says, “We need to have it all! Nothing is ever enough, we want MORE!”
Everything here is in EXCESS. And quite frankly, it’s embarrassing. Is this what we value? Is this what’s important to us? Stuff.
As I opened my pantry in front of her mother to pack my son’s lunch, I was embarrassed by HOW MUCH food I had in there. Half open boxes of spaghetti, bags of snacks, cans of food. It was so much food, that it’s almost falling out of the space. Albeit, we live in a small bungalow, so this isn’t a huge space, but it’s more food than we really need.
Every time I see my husband open the pantry and then say, “we don’t have anything to eat.” I want to remind him – this is more food than some people see all year! This is more food that some people will see in their lifetime. And we don’t have anything to eat. It’s not his fault he feels that way; we all buy into this lie of “never enough” while we don’t even know what it’s like to do without.
And while many of the world’s people are suffering and struggling, we also have people here who are hungry—EVEN WITH OUR 100,000 SQUARE FOOT WAREHOUSES FULL OF FOOD.
What the hell?
It’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed, aren’t you?