When I was a boy growing up in Louisiana, our youth group at church had us do an enlightening exercise: we all fasted for a day.
Now, not eating anything for 24 hours isn’t a huge deal. No one is going to die from hunger. But for suburban kids accustomed to eating three meals a day, plus snacks, it’s a big change, and having access to only water quickly gave us a small sliver of empathy about what it would be like to actually not have a choice about being hungry.
When we met at the church the following night, we had all been fasting 24 hours. At that point, the minister picked about six kids at random, had them walk up to the stage, and he gave each of them a McDonald’s bag with a meal inside of it. They joyfully ate their meal, while all the rest of us watched on with true envy. It was the first time I knew what it was like to be jealous of someone who had something to eat when I was hungry. That is a memory that has stuck with me my entire life.
I will now tell you another story from the past to lead in to my general point.