When I am sated, it is easy to feel independent. When I am hungry, it is possible to remember where my dependence lies.
Lauren F. Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath
Think about how much time we spend making sure our senses are sated. We eat, sometimes when we’re not even hungry, in order to avoid hunger. We work more hours to make more money, even when all of our current needs and most of our wants are fulfilled. We watch television long into the night instead of sitting in silence, because who wants to confront the voices that emerge in that vacuum?
At the foundation of this striving for surplus is an intense desire for independence and self-sufficiency. We avoid lack because we don’t like the feeling of being in need. We avoid vulnerability and community because we don’t want to be hurt again. We don’t want to be let down. We can still feel the sting of those last recent betrayals.
But what if we, in this culture of abundance, need to intentionally place ourselves in positions of hunger so that we can remember our true state of dependence? What if we decided to be more open regarding our weaknesses? More generous with our resources, even to the point of self-deprivation?
What would we learn, if we would allow ourselves, every once in a while, to become truly hungry?