Hunger and growth

A piece of advice given by dieticians is “don’t shop at the supermarket when you are hungry.”  The reason for this is obvious-hunger will spur you into acquiring more than you need or intended to get. People who have grown up with the experience of hunger or lacking, no matter how well they do in adult life, continue to be driven by the memory of scarcity and fear. It seems as if they can never escape its bleak and ominous shadow.  Experience and lessons learnt in the realm of material existence translated into the realms of the emotional and the spiritual.

If people internalise the concept of striving, of always being on your toes and pushing yourself in order to accomplish and ensure survival, then this mentality becomes part of your general approach to life. Everything in nature stays fresh and vital while it is growing. Growth means constantly needing to draw on inner and outer resources in order to build capacities. This gives a you the ability to contribute and in so doing not only survive but also retain a sense of your life having purpose and meaning and therefore becoming a mirror reflecting your personal value. Knowing that you make a difference, that your presence in and contribution to the world count in turn becomes motivating. Once you are in this mode, growth is like an acquisition.

There is always more to be done to acquire wealth that comes from growth in all spheres.  Growth creates a positive hunger and striving. As soon as something reaches a point of completion, it ceases taking in anything from the outside. What it does take in causes it to deteriorate.  Fruit and flowers are good examples-the very next moment after they reach perfection they begin to decay. People only stay healthy and while they are productive and growing.

We live in a world, where many people are overfed and undernourished, over-indulged and deprived of the hunger that would spur them into growth. This can be seen in the growing epidemic of young adults who lack motivation and direction. They have been given everything because their parents did not want them to experience the want suffered by previous generations. This notwithstanding, they are dissatisfied, cynical, demanding, and inert-waiting for life to come and find them and make it all better without them even needing to show up. They fritter away time on distractions and mindless amusements and express deep resentment at being challenged or called to account or take responsibility. Maybe this generation will be selfish parents whose children will be challenged by not giving too much. For those whose children are still young, there is opportunity to strike the right balance.

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