Saturday, July 24, 2010

So You Think You're Starving?

Any given day, I may be sitting on the couch reading a good book, or preparing dinner in the kitchen, when Natalie will walk over to me and announce, "I'm starving!" This is a phrase my husband has gotten into the habit of using, and since passed it on to our daughter. I don't ever remember feeling the irritation towards him for the use of that word, but now as my daughter uses it unsparingly, I find it to be quite disturbing.
It is not an uncommon part of our day to day lives to hear someone, or find ourselves, saying "I'm starving," to indicate our 'level' of hunger. We aren't simply craving a snack, we want something truly filling and hardy because we feel empty. Even in the dictionary the term 'starve' has been defined as 'to be extremely hungry' as its secondary meaning. But lets not neglect the primary meaning of the word. Starve: to weaken, waste, or die from lack of food.
In our country there are few who truly fall into that category. Most of us, certainly those with access to a computer and the internet who are able to read this, do not suffer from starvation in its truest meaning. We are not likely to die from lack of food, and in fact we probably have very little idea of how weakened we can become from no food for more then a day. I have gone a full day without one meal or even a snack. It wasn't on purpose, it was simply because other things happening that day kept me from getting to eating. Even then I was not starving. I had no lack of food, in fact it was abundantly available to me when I was ready for it. And even if my own kitchen were not conveinent, I had a number of fast food establishments and grocery stores accessible to me. So even then when I may have been slightly weakened from not eating, I could still not claim an actual lack of food.
In our own household we have made the word 'starving' a bad word. Occasionally my husband will slip up from habit, but we are making it a point to remind ourselves and our children what true starvation is. There really are many people, children and babies, who are literally starving in other countries. Starvation is a real and tragic sadness in our world today, so lets not become numb to the true meaning of starvation. Remember you are blessed to live in a country where it would indeed be difficult to find nothing to eat. As you sit down to your overly large second helping of dinner tonight, say a prayer for those who are dying somewhere in the world right now, from a lack of any food at all. And the next time you feel the pains of hunger, think twice before uttering the phrase "I'm starving!", and realize you have no idea how starvation actually feels.

1 comment:

  1. Very good point. Thanks for reminding us. We will try and do the same in our family.


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