Oh boy, it's that time of year again!
The time of year where Catholics and Christians alike get together to complain about the fact that they gave up chocolate and soda for six weeks.
Anyone who knows me knows that I give up the internet for lent every year. This essentially means giving up social media, YouTube, my webcomics, DeviantART and any other non-work related websites for six weeks.
During this time, I still use Trillian to talk to my friends online, but Facebook itself is put out completely.
This year though, I want to add to that. In addition to no internet, I'm also getting rid of soda and fast food. I like it too much, for one, but for two, I'd like to take some of the money I'd normally spend on that and put it toward a charity for the hungry.
Let me explain.
Right now, I'm teaching The Hunger Games in one of my classes. I've only ever read the first book, but my brother got me the whole set for Christmas this year in fancy foil bound books. For fun, I started reading book two.
Never read Catching Fire for "fun."
In one scene, Katniss and Peeta are in the Capitol eating at a big feast. Katniss tries a bit of everything and gets very full. When she mentions this to one of the members of her prep team, he laughs at her and shows her a liquid that she can use to throw it all back up and eat more food.
Such. A. Waste.
But I realized that we waste food like that too as a society. We WASTE FOOD and there are people out there starving to death. It made me feel sick. I felt like a horrible human being.
I'll admit, I relate a lot to Katniss. She decides early on to keep her head down and fight to protect the ones she love, even if it means lying and ignoring the problems staring at her in the face. The people of Panem look to her to be a symbol for their rebellion, an instigator of war. Gale and Peeta both pick up on this as the books move on.
But Katniss doesn't care. She doesn't see a point to fighting the Capitol because that would mean hardship and likely death for her family. She has no problem breaking the law, but only if that means she can protect the ones she loves.
I sometimes find myself paralyzed like that. Why should I worry about social issues when there's so little I can do as an individual? But that's a poor attitude to have.
I may not be able change the whole world, but I can change the world for one person.
One of the things my church is doing this year is a Change the World banner. This banner is out in the courtyard every Sunday during and it's a place to write how we've changed the world that week. Did we pray for a homeless man? Donate money? Choose not to waste food? Build bridges? Become a peacemaker? There's dozens of things you can do.
This year, I want to change the world for someone who's hungry. Being hungry is one of the most horrible things possible. My goal then, is to donate what I can to the local food banks. No one should go hungry. Not when we have the ability to waste food.
In the meantime though, I'll also be writing, praying, and, as always, giving up the internet.
If you need to contact me for any reason, you can always catch me on Trillian or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So for now, I'm off. See you all at Easter! Happy Lent. =)