Monday, September 24, 2012

What if I told you that someone died today whom you could have saved?

I realize this is a very complicated issue, and I haven't even begun to address it with a few paragraphs of text. Right now all I want to do is start a conversation. Hopefully it will be a conversation that will result in lives being saved.

But really, what if I told you that someone died today whom you could have saved?

Yes, this is likely going to be depressing. Most people will probably choose to ignore this so that they can remain comfortable.

Anyway, the truth is that there are people that died today who could have been saved by you and I, had we chosen to take the initiative.

Let's say that the person living next door to me is starving. They never ask me for food, but I know that they are starving. Instead of doing something about the problem, I heat up my microwave dinner, plop down on the couch, start watching TV, throw away the vegetables that I didn't feel like eating, and after a few weeks, my neighbor dies of starvation. What kind of person am I?

Due to massive jumps in technology, the globe has been radically connected. Thanks to this website:, we have plenty of statistics on world hunger. In addition, we have the ability to do something to effect the number of starving people. This drastically increases the number of 'neighbors' that we have.

Sure, it might cost us time and money, but if we tried, we could prevent some of the starving people from starving.

Thank you to those who are already trying to make a difference!


  1. Do you think everyone is as observant as you are and really notices "the person next door?" To notice "the person next door" requires that one be observing others, and to know that they were starving, would require one to be observing others for the purpose of determining the need of another. That requires a lot of thinking in a realm of selflessness that most people don't seem to have. Helping others needs to be comprehended as helping ourselves, and it isn't so much. Melody

  2. Hi!
    No, I don't think most people are very observant when it comes to noticing the person next door, myself included.

    I also agree with you that in a sense, it takes 'selflessness' in order to go out finding people in need for the purpose of helping them.

    For me, helping others brings me joy. In this way, being 'selfless' is actually a form of selfishness. =D I would like to think that a lot of people derive joy from giving a band-aid to a kid who has a cut. They are being selfish by helping because they enjoy doing it.

    But why stop at band-aids? Why not be really greedy and end world hunger? =D

  3. This is an area where organisations like fast food chains and other sorts of restaurants could make a bit of money, reduce their environmental impact, reduce obesity and help feed the starving (which unfortunately would increase environmental impact). I am travelling at the moment and hence visiting more restaurants than is usual. We were at an Italian restaurant a couple of nights ago and the meals were much larger than reallyn was necessary. None of us could finish the meals, which meant that half a chicken, part of a lamb and say half a square meter or so of land (for vegetables and salad and grains) were wasted. We didn't get a discount for the uneaten portion.

    I'd prefer to have been given a smaller portion for which I would have been willing to pay the same price. Over a large number of customers, this would result in a significant increase in income to the restaurant. Now, this might lead some of us to say "Why am I paying the same amount for less food?"

    This is where it gets tricky. Most restaurants will work on some form of profit margin over costs. It's expected that something more expensive like prime beef will cost more than something like chicken and that a larger serve of prime beef will cost more than a small serve. The restaurant will make more profit from a larger serve of prime beef, even though a larger serve of prime beef costs more to them to put on your plate, because they can justify charging you more for the pleasure of trying to eat it.

    Restaurants could make a bit more money with less investment (ie providing you with less of the food which is mostly just making you fatter) if they undertook to provide a small proportion of the bill instead and devote that to feeding the starving (with a little on top, whatever their profit margin is).

    Imagine if every American decided to eat 10% less and pay the same - that's 10% fewer animals killed for food, 10% less land devoted to agriculture, a lot less fat building up in American bodies and a few billion dollars for the starving each year (close to 20 using a very rough estimation).

    But could it be done in practice?

  4. Hi Neo!
    That is a fantastic idea. I really like the mentality--help solve one problem by solving another. You would lower obesity in America by feeding people who really need the food.

    Obviously the difficult part is putting the plan into practice. Do you have any ideas on how to make that happen?