Famine in America

 

You might be asking yourself, what cave have you been living in that you missed a famine in our own country? You haven’t missed it at all; the famine we’re suffering through, however, does not cause ordinary starvation as we see in Burkina Faso, Congo, Nigeria, or South Sudan. We don’t see the desolation of hunger and deprivation. Instead, America is going through a famine the likes of which we’ve never seen: it is the famine of the mind, the heart and the soul. And unlike the famines in other countries that we watch with heartache, we try to turn away from the ugliness, or blame others for what has occurred here. To some degree, we are all partly responsible for what is happening: there are perpetrators but there are also the silent witnesses.

What is this famine in America? It is multifaceted–

We have a famine of meaning.

For one, it is the damage that is wreaked with the loss of meaning. People have no sense of purpose, no mission, no guiding tenets to help them through life. The typical resources for finding meaning have been discounted and ridiculed, labeled archaic and foolish. So people are hungry for ways to figure out who they are, what they are supposed to be doing with their lives, and feel more and more isolated as time passes. Eventually, questions like who am I? What can I contribute to my world? Who can I lean on for guidance and direction? Who can I trust? begin to appear and cause our suffering.

Unfortunately, the traditional resources, such as religion, spiritual leadership, teachers, and counselors that used to be available are avoided; to explore those opportunities would be seen as backward and primitive. So, people struggle with isolation and loneliness.

We have a famine of ideas.

Our country has a wealth of ideas, the great historians, political leaders, philosophers, religious and moral teachers. We have great writers of history, novels, poetry; we have Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson; yet these people have all been labeled racists and have been condemned. Who will be the new writers who will stimulate our thinking and creativity? Who are the men and women who will choose to withstand the onslaught of irrational and biased (even racist!) attacks and who will feed our souls? Or will they acquiesce to those who offer mindless remedies, require even further deprivation of critical thinking, or bromides that give them comfort and convince them that they are a part of something bigger, even though those very ideas will destroy them and this country?

We have a famine of courage.

One attribute that has an impact on every other area of our life is the famine of courage.

For some, it is in short supply, and finding and embracing it seems too difficult, too dangerous. If our rights become eroded even more than they have been, are there people who will find their own reserve of courage and find others who will help them sustain it? Will they find the courage to stand up to bullying, humiliation, and ridicule? Will they build the endurance to speak out and fight back? Will they sacrifice lifestyle, friendships, even family, to stand up for what is right and true?

So far, we are only seeing the dark warnings of the worst outcomes for these deficiencies, this famine. Most of us only see famine creeping in on the margins with threats of loss of energy resources through rising gas prices, staple products disappearing from our grocery stores, deprivations in education, and threats of mandates to perform and conform. But there are glimmers of hope that although the famine may get worse before life improves, people are pushing back. In the last few weeks, we are watching people becoming empowered, rejecting the status quo, and standing up for truth. The underdogs are emerging, declaring victory and waving flags of enthusiasm and hope. They are inspiring others who have been lingering in the shadows to come out and consider new possibilities.

I hope all of us will find meaning and new ideas and the courage to fight for them, and emerge from this famine with strength, passion, and resilience.

Published in Group Writing
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There are 22 comments.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Excellent, Susan.

    • #1
  2. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    I really want to give you a like for this extremely profound piece, Susan, but it makes me very sad to contemplate.  Have you read Rabbi Sacks on this topic?  Or Jordan Peterson?  It’s a crisis that both recognized and wrote or commented on.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Caryn (View Comment):

    I really want to give you a like for this extremely profound piece, Susan, but it makes me very sad to contemplate. Have you read Rabbi Sacks on this topic? Or Jordan Peterson? It’s a crisis that both recognized and wrote or commented on.

    I’ve read most of Rabbi Sacks’ commentaries on Torah, but I don’t know about this topic. And have caught some of Peterson’s work. It all takes so much time! ;-) It would make sense that both of these men would speak to this kind of famine.

    • #3
  4. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Susan Quinn:

    We have a famine of courage.

    One attribute that has an impact on every other area of our life is the famine of courage.

    Amen, sister.

    • #4
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Have courage, take action, and sign up to write this month! We have had a feast of posts so far, but now face a famine for the weeks ahead. Act fast!  

    This post is part of our group writing November theme: “Feast, Famine, Fast.” Stop by today to reserve a day. Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #5
  6. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Manny (View Comment):

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    They might be related.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    They might be related.

    BG is related to Susan? Or to Kevin Bacon?

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    They might be related.

    BG is related to Susan? Or to Kevin Bacon?

    McRib.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    They might be related.

    BG is related to Susan? Or to Kevin Bacon?

    McRib.

    Third base.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    They might be related.

    Higher sources might be at play . . . .!

    • #11
  12. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    Behold, days are coming, says the Lord God, and I will send famine into the land, not a famine for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the word of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

     

    • #12
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    Behold, days are coming, says the Lord God, and I will send famine into the land, not a famine for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the word of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

    That verse immediately came to my mind, too.

    • #13
  14. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    You mention the recent pushback.  I think it is becoming noticeable.

    Today James Delingpole, in his podcast promoted on ricochet, discusses how on social media, people lambast the Entities of Evil the Mainstream legacy fake news  keeps setting up as experts we should worship and obey. 

    So many people  in the USA who are acting courageously during these troubling times.

    America’s Frontline Doctors, the Bakersfield doctors, Dr Zelenko and others have bravely promoted medicinal protocols that our “health officials” wished to remain untapped.

    Kyle Rittenhouse decided that the business community, and plain old regular citizens there  in Kenosha Wisconsin, could use some extra support.

    Then there was the guy in New jersey who used 187 bucks of his own money to run for and win office in the elections earlier this month. Think of the chutzpah that took. Most people would go, “I don’t have any money, or a campaign manager, or…” But he thought he could so HE DID!

    Without a doubt there are many more heroes, but our biased media would rather tout the charms of Kamala, and Sleepy Joe, than reveal and promote the regular people who are  willing to use their energy, time and money to save the Republic.

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    You mention the recent pushback. I think it is becoming noticeable.

    Today James Delingpole, in his podcast promoted on ricochet, discusses how on social media, people lambast the Entities of Evil the Mainstream legacy fake news keeps setting up as experts we should worship and obey.

    So many people in the USA who are acting courageously during these troubling times.

    America’s Frontline Doctors, the Bakersfield doctors, Dr Zelenko and others have bravely promoted medicinal protocols that our “health officials” wished to remain untapped.

    Kyle Rittenhouse decided that the business community, and plain old regular citizens there in Kenosha Wisconsin, could use some extra support.

    Then there was the guy in New jersey who used 187 bucks of his own money to run for and win office in the elections earlier this month. Think of the chutzpah that took. Most people would go, “I don’t have any money, or a campaign manager, or…” But he thought he could so HE DID!

    Without a doubt there are many more heroes, but our biased media would rather tout the charms of Kamala, and Sleepy Joe, than reveal and promote the regular people who are willing to use their energy, time and money to save the Republic.

    Beautifully said, CarolJoy. The heroes are out there; at least some of us will recognize and celebrate them!

    • #15
  16. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

     The famine has a name.  It’s fascism,  communism, or if one prefers politeness, socialism.   At least  German fascism grew out of great suffering caused by the war and the post war chaos, but we’re doing it all on purpose from great wealth and cultural richness.  If we can’t turn it over then root it out we could say we deserve it, but do we and does the whole world?   Are we old fashion folks who believe in freedom mistaken and can in fact supercrats and giant corporations actually run matters well?  They cannot and we’re already seeing what happens and why.

    • #16
  17. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I found it funny that this post on famine came just after Gary Robbins’ post “McRibs are Back!”

    They might be related.

    John Yoo was unavailable for comment . . .

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    Behold, days are coming, says the Lord God, and I will send famine into the land, not a famine for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the word of the Lord. (Amos 8:11)

     

    I love how many people appreciated this quote, Joshua! I’m not as familiar with other parts of the Torah beyond the Chumash, so this quote is a wonderful addition. Thanks!

    • #18
  19. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    “The Baal Shem Tov taught that the body’s hunger for food and thirst for drink derive from the spiritual hunger of the soul inhabiting the body. Within the food and drink, as within everything in the world, there are sparks of holiness; and it is for those sparks that the soul hungers. The person may feel only the physical hunger, but in reality, the body’s hunger is the soul’s.” (from therebbe.org)

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    “The Baal Shem Tov taught that the body’s hunger for food and thirst for drink derive from the spiritual hunger of the soul inhabiting the body. Within the food and drink, as within everything in the world, there are sparks of holiness; and it is for those sparks that the soul hungers. The person may feel only the physical hunger, but in reality, the body’s hunger is the soul’s.” (from therebbe.org)

    Thanks once again.

    • #20
  21. David B. Sable Coolidge
    David B. Sable
    @DavidSable

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    I really want to give you a like for this extremely profound piece, Susan, but it makes me very sad to contemplate. Have you read Rabbi Sacks on this topic? Or Jordan Peterson? It’s a crisis that both recognized and wrote or commented on.

    I’ve read most of Rabbi Sacks’ commentaries on Torah, but I don’t know about this topic. And have caught some of Peterson’s work. It all takes so much time! ;-) It would make sense that both of these men would speak to this kind of famine.

    @susanquinn  I’m reading Rabbi Sack’s Covenant and Conversation on Genesis.  Very insightful.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    David B. Sable (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    I really want to give you a like for this extremely profound piece, Susan, but it makes me very sad to contemplate. Have you read Rabbi Sacks on this topic? Or Jordan Peterson? It’s a crisis that both recognized and wrote or commented on.

    I’ve read most of Rabbi Sacks’ commentaries on Torah, but I don’t know about this topic. And have caught some of Peterson’s work. It all takes so much time! ;-) It would make sense that both of these men would speak to this kind of famine.

    @ susanquinn I’m reading Rabbi Sack’s Covenant and Conversation on Genesis. Very insightful.

    So am I! I have the whole Torah series. He’s a very insightful and intelligent man. They published a book after his passing, called Studies in Spirituality.  He has one essay per parshah, and I think takes a deeper dive into them.

    I’m so glad you are appreciating it!

    • #22
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