April 29th, 2013
In the spring a young duck's fancy turns to...greed. The rest of the year the 70 or so ducks that inhabit the creek and our big back yard share food, chattering, and some snuggles. Today those same comrades are in battle mode. Only one or two ducks are allowed under the balcony from which we broadcast cracked corn. Chattering has become squawking, honking, biting, chasing. I suspect it is a mating challenge. Whether food or mating though, I project that it boils down to fear--a fear of being left out, fear that there is not enough to go around.
While I was watching the ducks out the kitchen window I was washing Soda Stream bottles with our grandsons' names printed carefully on each one. My mind spun back to the hurt feelings, the bitterness, the angry words when our two children were young. Somehow their Mom and we underestimated those two amazing children enough to think that they didn't have enough love for all of us.
For the past ten years I've lived every hour with the knowledge that all around us are people who don't have enough nourishing food to eat. It did not require people holding signs on the street corner. Scores of people come into UCOM's food pantry every day with a similar testimony, "without you all, my kids would go hungry." "Yesterday's dinner was Ramen Noodles. That's all we had money for."
The statistics are clear locally and globally. There is enough food to nourish everyone in the world. Food is not really the problem. Even poverty is not the root of the need. The problem is greed.
In a country with the size and wealth of the United States surely there is room for another immigrant. In a land of so much why do so many exist with so little? When some of our leaders speak with such disdain about "entitlement" I hear their own entitlement in their rhetoric.
Enough...no, I mean it. Enough. Enough of the arguments, the excuses, the accusations...there is enough to go around. There is enough for all of us and to spare when we share.
I am sometimes asked about the theology of UCOM. I believe it is this: there is enough. When we all see ourselves as one there is enough food, enough space to be warm and loved and cared for. Call it God as I do or basic human kindness, light, oneness, wholeness, community or whatever other word helps you to express it. When we abdicate our territoriality, let down our defenses and open ourselves to all that is, there is enough.
This is why UCOM concentrates on food a lot--because we know how to connect people with the food they need right now. We provide options to help alleviate some of the pressing poverty around us because we are learning ways to do that. We are not stuck in any of these methods because they are just that--methods, strategies for improving lives. Until we find the way to eliminate greed we will collaborate with everyone who will to make life more satisfying for our neighbors in whatever traditional and innovative ways we can.
What would you suggest we do?