Oneness. It’s a goal of each person to feel connected with all the other human beings who inhabit this earth. We all live along side one another living, breathing, and for the fortunate ones eating. On Monday night I attended the global Hunger Banquet in hopes for Loyola to enlighten me on how people with different living situations live. I went in there expecting tables for Loyola students with a buffet of food, and a few speakers talking about how we need to be more aware. I was happy to have the different approach which by separating us they showed us how the difference instead of just telling us. For people who have no idea what it is like to live in an underprivileged environment it was a great way to open the eyes and put the hunger problem in a whole new perspective.
I was part of the randomly chosen people to be an upper class person. I noticed that I did not only get more food to eat, but also received more stares and comments then I thought necessary. It amazed me how people would walk by and comment on us and actually treats us as if we were those people who take their power to degrade people down to the classes in which they were symbolizing. It is funny that they took the power out of our hands to choose which class we would like to be a part in since it really shows how we have no control over our places sometimes. The difference I saw in the people who were acting out the part and the people in the movie is the attitudes. The people who were actually in the position had this attitude of hope and smiles on their faces in appreciating what they did have. They seemed to keep hold of the things in which they were given instead of thinking about the things they did not have. The problem today is that so many people are just handed the comforts of life and get so used to them and attached that they have no meaning to them. They are there to make their life more enjoyable, but do they appreciate them? I don’t think so.
The banquet showed us the unfortunate truth in how people had no control over their sufferings. This theme however is not limited to hunger. Peter Meinke, in his poem, Untitled, he shares with us his sons inability to control his fate of his father’s abuse. The son did nothing to deserve this mistreatment, but it still happened. It is wrong, but so common the case. His father did not mean to hurt him, he feels remorse and shows this in not even capitalizing the first line. He feels degraded and not worth a capitalization. The poem has no name, making it open to all abused people.
The Video, follows the theme in which the banquet also brought up about neglect and feeling alone. The people who go hungry are still people and they want to be known. They do not want to be pushed aside as Ceri was, they want to be noticed and loved with all the affection not just the pity of a stranger throwing money at them. This poem plays with the ability of controlling your wants in that Ceri has the power to make her sister go back in and disappear in a false reality, but the true reality still stays and the baby is still there.
One other aspect, which I touched upon, that the banquet taught me, is finding joy in a bad situation. You have to find some way to distract yourself from the hard reality, to lighten the blows, or quiet the roars of a hungry stomach. Theodore Roethke tells of living in a situation of an abusive alcoholic father, in his poem My Papa’s Waltz. This is a horrible situation, but the rhyme of the poem makes us feel as if we are singing a children’s rhyme. We can’t help but bob side to side in resisting this grotesque melody. This twisted happy feel is what makes us not realize the seriousness of the situation being talked about. This is what the people who are hungry do I believe. They focus on a happy aspect in their life to reduce the pain of being hungry.
Margret Atwook took a different approach in pointing out how humans would have to reconnect with nature if there was no comfort of shelter or food. This can be connected in what those people who have no homes or food have to do. They are the ones who really appreciate the earth and learn to live and depend on what it gives them.
We are all not in the position to have to fend for our lives and work to put food in our stomach, but that doesn’t mean we can just ignore it. As I pointed out we are all people. We are all capable of living comfortably. We need to all step back and prioritize our lives to help our self and our fellow people. One speaker said that, “Human rights are non negotiable” we all need food and water to live, and we should all help those who can’t do it themselves.