Wednesday, August 31, 2005

fear factor

One of the sessions I attended was titled "In Your Face: Teaching and Learning About Poverty" lead by a dynamic leader who was definitely in your face. In this way, he helped the group come to the following conclusions about hunger education:

  • When we try and educate about hunger, we face the fear factor - the brain’s natural defense mechanism to tag unpleasant information as fearsome or dangerous and our natural instinct of flight, fight or freeze in face of that danger.

  • Most hunger education programs are tame. They tell stories about what we’re doing and making us feel better to keep the money flowing, but in fact the money alone is not enough.

  • The more we study hunger, the harder it is to do something about. Instead do something first, and then figure it out.

  • Give people the opportunity to participate by modeling and inviting to work with you.

  • If we are honest with ourselves, there is hunger because of us. We need to stop thinking of hunger as a problem out there. It is a by-product we cause by our consumption and waste patterns.

  • Change doesn’t happen until faced with "death". That sounds pretty drastic, but someone else reminded me this week that change most often occurs after experiencing death, divorce, disease, destruction. Why wait?

We've all seen the man at the liquor store
beggin' for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dread-locked,
and full of mange
He asks a man for what he could spare,
with shame in his eyes
"Get a job you fucking slob," is all he replies
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like
to sing the blues
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what it's like
Then you really might know what's it like
to have to lose
- What It’s Like (Everlast)

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