From the time I was born to about 12 years, my family had all the food we needed. I can’t remember ever being hungry before then. There were snacks for our ‘four o’clock tea’. However, rude reality came knocking when I was about 12 years old and stayed with my family for some years. This was as a result of my parents having to move the family for security reasons from another country. They had had to leave their jobs and small business and it was hard for them to start over. My mother, a designer, who had made most of my clothes could no longer afford to buy the material needed. My friends taunted me about that fact and I had started walking barefoot since I had no clothes. I had not noticed before that I always had footwear even when I was playing. The lack of shoes and clothes did not bother me as much as not having food.
Having to think about whether we would have our next meal was rough, especially since I was child – and one who never knew hunger before. My parents did talk to us about facts of life and tried to explain why we went hungry, but it was still tough. I would go to school without eating and spend the whole day at school without food and it was tough, tough, tough. On top of that I had to walk at least 8 kms round trip to school on an empty tummy. Many times we would have to eat stale food because that is all that we had and thankfully, no running tummies followed. The lack of food is one of the reasons why I stayed away from mischief as a youth so that I could finish my education and have as secure a future as possible.
My parents’ situation improved after a few years, but my fear of having no food had a very strong unhealthy hold on me for several years. I have managed to deal with the fear, but at the back of my mind I always remember what being is like and so try to secure my future. I do not want to be in a position where I do not know where my next meal is coming from. I do not want to eat stale food ever again just because it’s the only thing available.
My lack of food at one point has made me appreciate the fact that I can have any food I want at any time. I am grateful that I do not have to worry about what I will eat because that is tiring and scary. I am grateful for the good health and job that I have because those keep me for lacking my daily bread. I am also grateful that my immediate family also have food, because they too, know what being is like.
What are you grateful for today?