A pudgy boy comes into frame — finishing his ice cream and brownies though his classmates have barely begun chewing. Hurriedly, he walks up to the lunch lady and asks for more. Request denied and ridicule served, he then walks back to his seat where he slumps down, rubbing his belly, dreaming of just another ounce of creamy vanilla bean and fudgy Betty Crocker brownie.
Tears well up in my eyes as I feel this boy’s pain as if it were my own. He just wanted a little more.
Food is in my top favorite things. I grew up in a household that probably over did it, as Filipino households do. There was a lack of many things but never food. Weekly trips to Costco guaranteed a kitchen stocked with every cereal, chip, cookie, fruit, and 90’s snack you could think of. I think my aunt allowing my friends to come over regularly was more for their hoover ability than for my happiness. Family friends frequently came for dinner throughout the week, partaking in dinners meant for 6 but bountiful enough for 20.
As an adult, my cooking instincts apparently don’t fall far from the tree, my dinners for 2 often resemble dinners made for 10. This unhealthy obsession with bounty and excess permeates my instagram feed and internet habits. My user analytics show my grotesque amounts of free time scrolling through digital calories.
In a city with every cuisine at your fingertips it’s really easy to forget the immense lack there is in the world. How many households don’t have weekly trips to Costco, how many kids don’t even know what a fudge brownie is, how many can’t be bothered by digital calories as they struggle to earn any calories they can get.
It’s not a hidden fact or narrowly understood problem, it’s likely the simplest problem that anyone on Earth could empathize with. But as we grovel over a less than gigantic portion at a restaurant, or slightly cold takeout, countless people go to sleep rubbing their bellies wishing they could have just one ounce of what we have.
It’s so easy to cry over the pudgy boy in a movie but so much “Harder” to give just a little to a much bigger problem. If I could give the world anything, I’d give them a chance to be that pudgy boy — where their biggest problem is their desire for more and not just a desire for some.
7. If you could solve one world problem, what would it be and why?