One of the things that humble me is to know the next person is hungry. I’ve been hungry a lot and so know how it feels to be hungry.
What is usually difficult to tell is how hungry is the next person. If everyone were like me, you could be hungry and still wear a smile because it’s difficult to tell most of the people around that you’re hungry.
With remarkable certainty, I trust there are so many people out there who for many reasons do not have the courage to tell those they meet that they’re hungry. You’ll find them smile whilst their stomachs groan. They carry their hunger all day until they find someone whom they deem safe enough to open up to.
There are times you look into someone’s eyes and feel they might be very hungry, even if they don’t mention it to you. I trust there’s a divine bit to it and God reveals it to those who genuinely will be of help, so they help. Whenever it strikes your mind that the next person is hungry and might not have anything on them, make a humble and a persuasive attempt to offer them food or any means to food; because, not everyone has the courage to tell you they’re hungry.
It happened a couple of years ago when I went somewhere to carry out a certain assignment. I was seated at the premises of this place and saw a very stout gentleman sitting leaning against a pillar.
He looked tired and weak. He had a sachet of water, which I noticed he was struggling to drink but found it hard (when you’re extremely hungry, you find very difficult to drink water, from my experience). A thing struck me and I heard a voice in me saying “This guy is very hungry so help.”.
I approached him and asked if he would love to take some food. Responding “Yes, yes sir!” without the slightest hesitation, he further told me he hadn’t eaten since morning and was only taking water until that point he was struggling to take it because his stomach began to ache if he took any more water.
I didn’t want to waste time on needless conversations so handed him some money to go and buy food. He left, came back with beans and gari, popularly called “gobbe”. Right in front of me he ate as if he had not eaten in days and you could see life back in his face and body.
I kept imagining how long he could have carried the hunger, if I had not approached. Perhaps, he did not have the courage to tell me because he had never met or known me. As I indicated, different people have different reasons they won’t tell you they’re hungry but you have one good reason you need to approach them - you can be of help.
When you’re with people - family, friends and even people you’ve never known, offer to share food or any means to food with them. You do not know who’s terribly hungry in the lot yet keeps quiet because they can’t say.
You do not know who finds the food you offer as their first or last meal for the day. You do not know who needs it so badly but also smiles and laughs with you whilst their stomach starves.
Often than not, people have become restive of beggars. Understandably, not everyone is supposed to be begging and it’s okay to get fed up with all manner of people begging. Notwithstanding, whenever someone walks to you and tells you they’re hungry, even if you want to believe something else, you still need to give them food or what can get them food.
You may be saving someone from starvation and you may mistakenly be looking on whilst they starve all the more, if you decline to give. Whenever you can help, no one around deserves to be hungry. Feed, because God feeds you and has caused others to feed you at some point in the past, and may cause people to feed you at some point in the future.
Written by: Alhassan Rabiu Yakubu