There is no question that our world is in need of some saving. Whether you look at the ecological factors that are slowly deteriorating our living conditions. I saw this image the other day and my jaw dropped. (Read the article here if you want to really be shocked.)
Then there are the wars and the senseless acts of violence in the name of whatever, that occur daily around the world. It’s enough to make you want to cry yourself to sleep at night thinking about these innocent people who live in war conditions every single day.
I have to say, though, that if I woke up to discover that in my sleep I had been gifted amazing superpowers, I would turn to my own country first. At night, when the commercials come on for the animals being abused, I have to admit, I get angry. I don’t get angry because the animals are being abused, I get angry because people seem to care more about the abused animals than they do about the rate of hungry children in our own country. It’s like people don’t want to admit that there are hungry kids in their own town. If they did, we’d see more commercials asking people to donate to organizations that fight hunger in America. There are some though who would rather “save the animals” before they save the kids or the elderly or the people who really are trying to change their lives but are struggling while they pay bills and school bills so they can get into a new career.
I grew up in a very socially aware family where we were taught to give our time to helping people. Whether it be donating to food pantries, donating old clothes, volunteering, we were taught that you should always help your fellow human without judgement. I know that in such a heated political climate, some might call this “liberal,” “socialist,” or even “Christian” (gasp!) but you know what – that is kind of what it is. I embrace that. After all, with people like St. Vincent de Paul and Mother Teresa setting such a high bar for helping people in need, it’s hard to not want to help when you see the statistics and hear the news stories [that get covered up by Kim Kardashian’s baby, Taylor Swift’s latest break-up, and Lance Armstrong’s drug abuse].
I care about the people who share this town, this state, and this country with me. I know that we are only as strong as our weakest link. Yes, there are those that milk the system. I know a few, personally, who do. Does it infuriate me? Of course! I hate knowing that they are able-bodied and not willing to work. I hate knowing that they are taking advantage of programs that are in place to allow people to get back on their feet, not survive off them. They make it hard for me to argue the value of these programs with the more conservative people I know. But I digress.
If I had my superpower, I would start with fighting hunger in this land of plenty. There is no reason that in this first world nation, we have people starving. They should be able to get a meal. I heard a story on the news a few weeks ago about children who go hungry during the holiday school break and it has haunted me to be honest. I had a dream one night that I was volunteering for this organization mentioned in the news story and I woke up crying, something that almost never happens but this dream was just so real to me. I keep thinking of how I can help because I’m almost positive that there are kids in my own county, in my own town, that are in the same boat, maybe not as extreme, or scarily maybe even worse off.
I watched my mother struggle through tough times while she tried to keep the family together, go to school to get a new career, and still keep a roof over our head. It wasn’t easy. We lived on that edge. We definitely could have gone on benefits but we didn’t for whatever reasons. I know that we did get the reduced school lunches for a little while. I know that was a help for her. She managed to come back from the edge but so many families in our great country live day in and day out teetering on that edge.
My superpower would be to make sure that every fridge in the country was stocked so that people didn’t have to go to bed hungry, wake up hungry, go to school or work hungry, and then repeat. There should be “No Kid Hungry” in this great nation.
Check out this video from Share Our Strength. It may help put a few things into perspective. Next time you aren’t sure which charity to donate to or to volunteer with, consider helping out in your own backyard and fight hunger.
We can all be a superhero to a little kid, a vet who has no work, a grandparent, a man, a woman, a child who just wants to know they will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.