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The World is a Stage

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I am truly sick and tired of the extreme swing in political correctness. I agree there are words in our vocabulary that shouldn’t be used. But wait! Those words are used all the time, in fact the 'F-word' seems to be the only adjective learned at home! Actually, I was thinking of other words. You know, the one’s that they change every ten years so that now we have no idea which word to use.

Do you want to know how ridiculous this has gotten? You don’t use the word hungry anymore. Yup. You may have nothing to eat but you can’t be hungry, you can however, be ‘food insecure’. Frankly someone with nothing to eat is not insecure or doubtful or uncertain about it, they are hungry!

Political correctness is now being used, not to help the people with problems, but to allow the rest of the world to gloss over the problem so they don’t feel bad. Do you feel like helping someone that is ‘food insecure’ or someone you know is hungry?

I got on this bandwagon when reading an article ‘ The New Face of Hunger’ by Tracie McMillan, printed in National Geographic in 2012. Granted it is about the USA, but I researched to find out if Canada has the same problems. Why, yes we do.

The numbers are different because of the larger population but the situations are pretty close, but finding out one-eighth of Americans in 2016 don’t have enough food to eat is still a shock. In Canada, in March 2016, 863,492 people received food from a food bank according to The Hunger Count 2016.

North America is about the wealthiest area in the world, yet too many of our own populations are malnourished. Why?

Well, it is not what you think of when you think malnourished. We think of people starving in droughts, but it turns out they are starving in suburbs. “In the U.S. more than half of hungry households are white, and two-thirds of those with children have at least one working adult - typically in a full-time job.” They could actually be better off than the full time worker who gets paid minimum wage.

What happened to us?

In Tillsonburg, over 100 years ago, John Northway’s department store was thrilled to report in the paper they were able to hire another person full-time, because it meant his business was now able to support another whole family! Not just the worker, a whole family. That is what he was so proud about.

Today it is all about the owners/shareholders making and keeping every nickel (no cents left) they made for themselves and not giving a wit about whether their employees make enough money to feed their families. Why should they worry? Kids get free meals in schools and there are Food Banks and churches to help! Perhaps now at the beginning of the Christmas Season is a good time to quote, ‘And the Union Workhouses,’ demanded Scrooge. ‘Are they still in operation?' That seems to be the attitude of too many employers and citizens today.

Now I am going to flip the coin and lay some of the problems back on the families. I went through a period in my life where I got a book on what is edible in the wild and used it. I didn’t have cable. I didn’t put gas in my car. I lived in Tillsonburg at the time and could walk everywhere and pulled a cart (not a grocery cart) with my groceries. I didn’t eat out. I bought cheap meat and frozen veggies, and things off the reduced racks in the stores.

A photo in another article about hunger showed a family eating chicken fingers (costs more than some raw meat), kitchen cupboards that look better than mine today, a television in the kitchen, and Mom on a cell phone.

Saving money is not easy. Going back to one land phone; using the library computers; reading books and substituting no-cost entertainment is not easy, but it can make a big difference.

Society has change so drastically because people have forgotten to care and share, from CEO’s to neighbours, and if you think it is going to get worse, just add in the next decade of robotics that now run hotels and stores - no more humans! Everyone is so enamored of progress but it is removing jobs faster than you can imagine. It is time for everyone to rethink our future, because there is no way the food banks are going to be able to keep up. It is insane.

Take a good look at your life and needs, not wants, and those of your family, neighbours and co-workers or volunteers. The Christmas Season is upon us. What can you do (not necessarily give) to help those around you?

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