by Tim Huang, ’14
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we live in a world that reinforces the idea of scarcity, the idea that “I should fear sharing with others because there are not enough resources for me and everyone else.” I believe that this idea has diminished our courage and taken away our initiative to act towards fulfilling our personal and collective needs. And today, more than ever, I am saddened to see that the majority of our world’s population, our human family, still faces the challenge of meeting their most basic needs – clean water, food, shelter, and other important resources for survival. While we throw away nearly 263 million pounds of food a day in the U.S., millions in our country and abroad go hungry and live in poverty. Despite this startling figure, my vision for the future is that we can make the dream of food equity possible – one day, all people, regardless of socio-economic level, will have access to healthy, nutritious foods that cultivate the Earth and their own communities. We all eat after all, and we thus all share together on this Earth in an act of communion. This is why I’m so passionate about food justice and food access, and I believe that this is why you’re a part of this movement as well.
I’m constantly challenged by the culture of scarcity that exists in our mindsets – a scarcity of willpower, money, resources, community, and several other things that prevent us from feeding the oppressed. “There isn’t enough food for everyone.” “Our population is growing.” “If we give them food, we won’t have enough for ourselves.” For me, it’s particularly difficult to change the conversation of needs and lacks to that of assets and gifts. I recognize, that now more than ever, we need to shift our collective principle from one of scarcity to one of abundance, from transaction to trust, and from isolation to community. Without this shift, we cannot succeed in empowering our communities to change the way we approach meeting each other’s needs for food. What if we said instead: “There is more than enough for everyone..take what you need”? How would this question create a community of generosity and design for abundance? How would this question reframe our own challenges and tendencies to hoard into a new perspective of shared responsibility? I challenge you, my friend, to start thinking in liberating ways, to shed the idea of scarcity and fear, and to co-create with our community members a new approach to feeding the world.
Indeed, the climb ahead is daunting, and I know we will faces challenges, but I also know that there is hope, and that we will reach the mountaintop together, with grace, with love, and with peace. There is no other way. Our human community is part of this movement. And you are too.
My name is Tim, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Human Biology. Academically, I’m passionate about education, human development, social justice, environmental and cultural conservation, and sustainable change. Personally, I love gratitude, teaching, smiles, delicious vegetarian food, outdoors exercise (swimming, hiking, biking, running, etc.), gardening, traveling, and personal development.