Today, on April Fools, I felt deeply compelled to be extraordinarily humourous. I felt I needed to tell some inappropriate joke or perhaps a funny little quip about something, anything; but I have to be honest – I’m empty.
I’ve got nothing.
I had an article already written before I sat down to write this. All I had to do was post it, and call it a day. But it felt wrong somehow. It seemed borrowed. It felt forced.
I had no other choice.
I was left with no other alternatives. My fruitless words had to come to terms with its sudden but dignified death. Hopefully, when you finish reading this, it will prove to be the right decision.
For some reason, all morning long, my mind had been harassed by the haunting remarks Steve Jobs gave to the graduating class of Stanford University, some twelve years ago.
I am not sure if you have ever read those remarks or listened to any part of the commencement address, but it is definitely worth a few minutes of your time. I strongly encourage to ponder his words.
I am haunted by those four unassuming words.
They spin themselves, over and over again, in my mind. They are a call to action and demand I take a great leap forward.
We are a curious lot here in North America. We often exclaim that we are starving, yet none of us have ever gone without food for more than a few hours. Supermarkets and the multitude of neon-crested fast food restaurants, serve and cater to our every whim, at all hours of the day.
Now, compare that reality to our continental neighbours. They simply don’t have the same luxury to play with semantics, like we do. They truly understand hunger. They do more than that, they are cursed by it.
I bet you, that despite being hungry, they never use the word. They realize the words futility. They have an innate understanding that they are not the only ones who suffer.
Perhaps Mother Teresa was right when she made her bold statement while on a US visit, that North America has the poorest people in the world. She remarked that she had no idea how to help us.
We live such comfortable lives here.
We are fat, plump, full figured, big boned, or metabolically challenged. You decide.
But no matter how we identify ourselves, it is inevitable that our uber-caffeinated lives eventually fall prey to multiple heart attacks, high blood pressure, and a sudden but predictable aneurism and a shortened life.
We are fat and eat too much. We are also selfish and don’t share. Imagine if we did. We would be healthier, need a hell of a lot less spandex and cotton, and help other people in the world, who are truly starving, would have a happier and longer life.
Regardless of the reality that we are doomed to repeat, we are still called to be people light. We cannot give up. We are called to remain hungry.
Hungry for what?
Hungry for life. Hungry for joy. Happiness. Meaning. Some kind of purpose.
Hungry for sacrifice that will benefit everyone, not just our families.
We need to be hungry to be human again.
We can only do this if we stay foolish.
We must conduct ourselves and live an existence that contradicts the norms and standards of our society.
We must break some rules.
If our society goes left, we zig right. If everyone we know posts selfies on Instagram, we snap pictures of everyone else and go back to using polaroids.
At a time when everyone gathers infinite numbers of friends on Facebook, we invite a pitiful number of them to share our humble home.
When the world eats out, we eat in.
When our neighbours turn fat, or indulge in the next diet, we stay fit.
When people store their abundant life in storage containers, we pack up ours, and give it away to those that live paycheque to paycheque. If they are even lucky enough to earn a paycheque.
I don’t think we have a choice.
We have to embrace the words of Steve Jobs.
Lets keep each other accountable.
Let’s be hungry. Let us be foolish.