First off, it’s an honor to be participating in the fast for Darfur. My dear friend Blake Mycoskie asked me to join, and I thought it was a no brainer to do something for a good cause and an opportunity to learn more about the dire situation in Darfur.
As an aside, this is the first time I have ever taken part in a fast. I absolutely LOVE food and it’s something that I look forward to everyday with every meal. To participate in the fast I knew it was going to be a tough challenge, but I thought if the people in Darfur are forced to go without food for days, I should be able to do it voluntarily (especially knowing that I will have some great meals to look forward to…unfortunately they do not).
I have to admit, today was relatively easy. Maybe it was because I was focused on accomplishing the end goal and knowing that I cannot eat anything, but for the most part it hasn’t been that bad. Although today was relatively manageable, it did have some rough patches. I went down to the local grocery store with my wife around midday, and it was especially hard going down the first few aisles. I quickly grabbed what I needed and proceeded to the check out (thus annoying my wife because she still needed to get a few things). They say never go to a grocery store when you are hungry as you will spend too much money. Well, don’t go to a grocery store when you are hungry and fasting because it will just cause misery.
Despite the fact it was Sunday and the day after Independence day, I knew that I had to have a productive day or I would be thinking about food throughout the day. After taking a walk in the morning and then doing some work for next week at the local coffee shop (yes painful to see people sip away on delicious concoctions of coffee and cream), I decided to hit the beach to surf for a few hours. Now it’s 6 pm, I’m a little sun burnt, but craving food (especially the salami and cheese my wife just cut for herself). I’m starting to get a little headache but, I’ll manage.
As a funny side note, my wife just told me, “I really like you on this fast. You don’t mess up the kitchen.” So I guess there are some other benefits to this fast as well.
I have a read a few posts on the internet about some people saying that fasting is a waste of time and has nothing to do with the cause. They specifically said that time and effort should be put to donating money or actually going there to help out first hand. I do not disagree that donating time and money are really important (and I encourage everyone to do this), but I have to disagree with the comments that participating in a fast is useless.
Everyday we are bombarded with messages, news stories, and advertising from TV, radio, and the web. In a lot of ways we have become a desensitized society and unfortunately have fallen to the out of sight out of mind philosophy. You hear about atrocities all the time in the news, but nothing really grabs your attention until someone that you trust or respect sheds light on the cause. I had heard about the issues in Darfur, but only in broad terms, and it wasn’t until Blake brought up Fast For Darfur that I felt there was something I could do to help. As a result (I’ve been scouring the internet about the cause to learn as much as I can) and I’m now participating in the fast and doing my best to spread the word to my friends and family to shed light on the difficult situation in Darfur. Let’s be honest, I know my efforts won’t amount to much singlehandedly. However, if it educates and inspires a few of my friends and peers to do something or share the cause with someone else who will continue to keep passing on the message it will be a step in the right direction. Nothing happens overnight and it’s through education and familiarity that get issues to that point where that last straw finally breaks the camels back. Thank you Mia for shedding light!