“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
I had the good fortune yesterday to go with a friend to hear Jim Morris, the Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP) speak at Purdue University. I have always been a big fan of Jim’s since his days in then Indianapolis Mayor Dick Lugar’s administration. Jim went on to become the head of the Lilly Endowment, one of our nation’s largest philanthropic organizations. He left the public and not-for-profit sector for a stint in the private sector before accepting the WFP position in April 2002. As you may know the World Food Program is the world’s largest humanitarian agency, it is the food aid branch of the United Nations. From its headquarters in Rome, Italy and more than 80 country offices around the world, WFP works to help people who are unable to produce or obtain enough food for themselves their families.
In 2005, WFP distributed 4.2 million metric tons of food to 96.7 million people in 82 countries; 35 million beneficiaries were aided in emergency operations, including victims of conflict, natural disasters and economic failure in countries like Afghanistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan and Niger. Direct expenditures reached US$2.9 billion, with the most money being spent on protracted relief and recovery operations. WFP’s largest country operation in 2005 was Sudan: in Darfur, the program reached 3.4 million people. WFP focuses much of its aid on women and children, with the goal of ending child hunger. In 2005, food assistance was provided to 58 million children, 30 percent of whom were under five. School-feeding program in 74 countries help students focus on their studies and encourage parents to send their children, especially girls, to school.
I wish I could report that Jim predicted a brighter future for the malnourished and starving children of the world but he could not. War, Aids, climate change, more frequent natural disasters, and global trade policies all continue to take their toll. He reported that something like 25,000 children die each day of starvation and malnutrition. I could feel Jim’s pain as he shared with us the awesome responsibility that he has as the CEO of one of the world’s largest organizations where he directs thousands of workers all over the globe doing all they can for people in very desperate situations.
I could not help but think how easy we all have it and how more of us need to try to find ways to help. I was especially gratified when Jim stopped for a moment and reminded me that we have known each other for about 40 years and thanked me for all the work Kiwanis International has done in partnership with UNICEF. I was again struck by how this warm and highly skilled man has given so much of his life for others. The world is a better place because Jim Morris does not stop and wait for bureaucracies and red tape, rather he always does as much as can be done as quickly as it can be done. In his business each day food is delayed is a day when some of the children who are our future are lost forever.
There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
She said: My husband and I were at my high school reunion. As I looked around, I noticed the other men in their expensive suits and their bulging stomachs. Proud of the fact that he weighed just five pounds more than he did when he was in high school, the result of trying to beat a living out of a rocky hillside farm, he said to me, "I’m the only guy here who can still wear the suit he wore when he graduated."
I glanced at the prosperous, reunion crowd, then back at him, and said, "And you’re the only one who has to."
The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.
Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman
"I finished the ice cream."
"Not to imply anything, but I don’t think the kid weighs 40 pounds."
"Y’know, looking at her, you’d never guess that Pamela Lee had a baby.."
"I sure hope your thighs aren’t gonna stay that flabby forever!"
"Well, couldn’t they induce labor? The 25th is the Super Bowl!"
"Darned if you ain’t about five pounds away from a surprise visit from that Richard Simmons fella."
"Fred at the office passed a stone the size of a pea. Boy, that’s gotta hurt."
"I’m jealous! Why can’t men experience the joy of childbirth?"
"Are your ankles supposed to look like that?"
"Maybe we should name the baby after my secretary, Tawney."
"Retaining water? Yeah, like the Hoover Dam retains water…"
"You don’t have the guts to pull that trigger…"
The late Bishop Sheen stated that the reason the Irish fight so often among themselves is that they’re always assured of having a worthy opponent.
A convicted felon was given ten years without parole for his latest crime. After 2 years in jail, he managed to escape. His escape was the lead item on the six o’clock news.
Because he had to be careful, he worked his way home taking little traveled routes, running across deserted fields and taking every precaution he could think of. Eventually he arrived at his house and he rang the bell.
His wife opened the door and bellowed at him, "You good-for-nothing bum! Where the hell have ya been? You escaped over six hours ago."
Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
Sharon tells her best friend Ruth, "I’ve broken off my engagement to Morris."
"Oh Sharon," says Ruth, "I’m so sorry. Why?"
"Because my feelings towards Morris have changed – they just aren’t the same anymore," replies Sharon.
"So tell me," whispers Ruth, "are you giving him back the engagement ring?"
"No I’m not," replies Sharon, "my feelings towards the ring haven’t changed."
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most do.
While attending a convention, I breakfasted in a cafe, next to two gray-haired Men from the same symposium. I overheard one remark, "You know, this is the First time in 40 years we’ve gone to one of these without our wives." His pal Leaned back, contemplating what such freedom might portend. "I know," he Said, laying his menu aside. "Let’s have biscuits and gravy!"
A young mother got upset when she received a nursery school report that described her daughter as "emotionally immature."
She responded with a note that said: "If you cannot be emotionally immature at age three, when CAN you be?"
Irish lass customer: "Could I be trying on that dress in the window?"
Shopkeeper: "I’d prefer that you use the dressing room."
The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit – this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.