Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘great depression’


“Hunger can change everything you thought you knew about yourself.”

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, a good time to think about this. Ever been hungry? Not “man, when is dinner?’ hungry, but the kind of hunger that comes from not knowing when, or if, dinner is EVER coming? I haven’t, but I can readily understand what the quote is saying. Peel away the veneer of civilization, chip through the cushion of the societal safety net, turn a deaf ear to the bleatings of the entitled as they moan about “hunger” on an iPhone, and think about what real hunger exposes.

There was a time in America, not too very long ago, when the country was plunged into a Recession. Terrible, unthinkable weather patterns caused crippling drought; people sought to blame mankind for it all. Government was tapped out, reeling from the costs of war and the economic devastation of unemployment and stagnation in private business. People of all ages, from all walks of life knew true hunger for the first time. Real hunger. Clothes falling off your skeleton hunger. The Great Depression.

I have not known hunger, not like the hunger suffered by the denizens of the Dust Bowl years. In our Western world we see this hunger so rarely that it is front page news when we do. No, our hunger is less elemental, more venial than mortal. Embarrassingly skewed to the ‘want’ side of the want/need continuum. How, then, would we behave in the face of true hunger? What would we learn about ourselves if we had no hope for a next meal?

Who among us would save Tom Joad?