This isn’t for you or against you, whoever you are. This is for me, and for Blog Action Day 2011.

I hate to pester people in their happy bubbles of existence but sometimes it’s necessary to remind oneself how lucky one is to have access to the most rudimentary of things: shelter, food and water. There is no doubt that we take these things for granted.

It’s easy to find scary statistics to put a point across, but often they lack accuracy or are taken out of context. Well, these aren’t such statistics — they’re from the UN’s World Food Programme, and they’re both accurate and shocking:

  • One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight
    (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
  • Every day, 16,000 children die of starvation (most of them under five). This equates to 1 child every 5 seconds.
    (Source: Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2005)

These numbers are beyond comprehension, to a degree, because of their enormity. It’s difficult to fathom. But it’s happening, and you should take it in. This is the world you live in. Face it, accept it, and if, in these facts, you find the impetus to make a change, then great! Even a small change is a great change.

When one thinks of a child, in Western society, she has parents, and they love her, and they would die for her at an instant. They sacrifice years of freedom and financial security to bring her up in this world. This one child will receive so much love and devotion. To think of the absolute devastation this child’s death would bring an entire community is almost laughable in comparison to the absolute silence with which a child perishes in other parts of the world. It means nothing.

Don’t be a coward about it. It’s not too depressing to think about. If you can’t handle the reality of life and insist on living in a bubble of make-believe then fine, but know that the joy and pain that you’ll feel is probably nothing in comparison to both the suffering, ecstasy and bliss that can be felt if you leave the bubble.

Graham Nash said:

Life is not perfect, and it never will be, you just have to make the best of it and open your heart to what the world can show you. Sometimes it’s terrifying and sometimes it’s incredibly beautiful, and I’ll take both — thanks.

Don’t shy away from the world. It’s the real thing. Experience it. Love it. Improve it.