Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life Affirming Kindness

My guest today was Ron VanWarmer, Associate Director of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. He was pretty careful not to talk about things like the hundreds of billions wasted on wars in the Middle East. Or about bailing out rich people's banks.

His job is to feed an awfully lot of hungry people in the Hudson Valley, and I could tell that he didn't want politics getting in the way of corporate donors. To me it was an indication of why the nation's food banks should be supported by our government and not have to rely on corporate generosity. Like everything, the corporations give a little while subtly controlling the message. Here the message should be the obscenity of families going hungry while the filthy rich shake down the rest of us. Once dependent of corporate giving, however, the message becomes how we can all pitch in together to solve this horrendous problem. Whose fault is that problem? The Food Banks can't really say on the radio.

In the end, I apologized to Ron for pushing him to talk about politics. And I can see his point. "Giving food," he said, "is a worthy act in itself." The bigger picture often excludes small acts of kindness. And working for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is such a kindness, a life affirming giving of oneself.

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