Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Would Food be your Priority?

Imagine this: A national (or world) disaster, on a scale you've never seen before, wipes out all power across North America. The government, disaster relief, and local food kitchens have been entirely overwhelmed and all stores have been looted. Luckily, you've stored up, and have food for at least six months for you and your family. Bravo! Give yourself a round of applause and enjoy recipes from the book: "1000 Delicious Uses for Wheat, Pickles and Pears". Time passes, though, and your neighbors begin to run out of food. Pretty soon people begin to show up at your doorstep. They see that you're not yet gaunt with hunger and begin to ask you for food. What do you do?

This idea didn't ignite spontaneously. Rather, it was lit by a spark from a blog I read from time to time called Times and Seasons. The specific post can be found here. It's a cute little story, but entails serious ramifications. What would YOU do if people began to come to you for your food in a situation like that? Do you share all you have, knowing full well that it will only feed you and your neighbors for a week at most? Or do you try to try to turn them away? When they show up with guns (an awful thought, but a likely event) do you crank out your own arsenal and start capping people? As a teenager, I remember thinking I'd have a gun for such situations, but as thought about it tonight, I've come to another conclusion:

Killing over food is stupid. Why not share what you have? Yeah, it would be a severe test of faith to do so, knowing that you, your family, and everyone else involved would likely starve within a few weeks if no more food is found. But would you rather put your afterlife in jeopardy by killing a man over a food squabble? What's the trade-off? A few paltry months in your basement eating canned olives and oatmeal, sitting in your own refuse, with the moment you became a killer echoing endlessly in your thoughts.

I'm for sharing. It seems like the reasonable thing to do. These decisions come easy, though, to a man who has never in his life known true hunger. I guess it's good to decide now, though, so that when reason begins to disappear in the shadow of starvation, I'll know what to do.

Your thoughts?



  1. hey barry- glad to have found you in cyberspace. I think about this scenario more often because I live in an apartment building full of "non-food storage keepers" who regularly see me lugging in bags full of food and personal hygiene commodities i get with coupons. I don't think many of them have guns... but who knows. You can only store so much in an apartment, so my hobby of getting free toothpaste, etc. is teaching me to share. At first when I started my "stockpile" I was so proud of it and admired all my free/cheap stuff. Then it started falling out of the cupboard and I realized I needed to do something! I began to *share* the wealth. Its hard sometimes to hand off $15-20 worth of goods to someone else, but not that hard when I know they need it and will use it. Now I can keep my hobby and close the cupboards. -danae

  2. Tough call indeed. But if we listen to King Benjamin’s counsel then we certainly would give of our substance to others for we know it is not ours in the first place.

    Nice post.

  3. I would share it.
    I would not want to have that on my conscience... and really.... if you know that your going to run out of food eventually regardless, why not help others who need just as badly as you do if not more because they have been starving while you were eating? And everything you said is true too. I am all for sharing too lol. That reminds me of something my friends and I talked about. There was a survey type of thing that was taken that asked. If you had 20 dollars in your pocket to spare as you were walking down the street and on one side of the street you saw a poor man begging for money who appeared to be drunk and a working class citizen working at a hot dog stand on the other side of the street, what would you do with the money? Would you keep it or yourself? Would you give it to the homeless man? Would you spend it at the hot dog cart? or what?
    some of the answers that these people came up with... were terrible, and made no sense in my book haha

  4. I think the first initial reaction for anyone is self preservation. It's one of our most primal instincts, but I would hope that in such crises, we would be more compassionate towards our fellow man. I think your response is the most Christ-like way, Barry, and I sure hope that we never have to experience such a catasrophe.

  5. I'm with you, Razz. In fact, since we no longer live in Zion and won't for some time, we've discussed it as we imagine we won't have many neighbors who are as prepared as we will be (hopefully... we're getting a start right now). I figure it's kind of like all the rest of the "stuff" we know about. We're supposed to share it, right? That said, if things get too crazy out there, I'll probably keep my loaded gun around in case the crazies show up. :)

  6. It would be hard not to share I think. If everyone is going to die of starvation, would it really be worth it to keep yourself (and your family) alive longer just to be the only person left? This is making me think of I Am Legend in a way. Also, because of my religious views, death is not such a bad option, so I would definitely rather die knowing that I shared what I had than delay dying feeling really guilty. Of course, as with all theoretical situations, I have no idea what I will do when it comes down to it. Like right now, I'm all yeah I'm not going to have an epidural, but when the pain comes? Pain like I've never felt before? Who knows what I'll say.

  7. well barry, i hate sharing, especially my food, even when there is plenty to go around. BUT i might spare you a few grains of rice, just cuz you're family!