"A large proportion of the world's population goes to bed hungry every night." Though we have heard this many times, most of us cannot comprehend it. We cannot fathom the suffering. We cannot grasp the difficulties faced right now by millions of people who are barely clinging to the edge of life. But it may help us understand their plight and sense our kinship with them if, in our imaginations, we try to make some of the tough survival choices that such people are facing day after day.
In this exercise you will take the part of a man or a woman who is trying to eke out a living in a poor rural area of a developing nation. At the end of each page you will face a difficult decision between two courses of action. Your choice of one or the other will direct you to another page, where the consequences of your decision will lead to a new dilemma, another choice, another page, and so on -- and finally to one or another of sixteen possible endings. The story of your life -- your very survival and that of your family -- will depend on how you make these "hungry decisions."
You are invited to work through each decision thoughtfully, trying to weigh the pros and cons of both alternatives. You may want to do this alone. Better yet, since in the story the choices are made by husband and wife together (though in some cultures the spouses would not share equally in these decisions), you might work through this with a member of the opposite sex. Then, when you are done, go back and do the exercise from the other person's point of view.
Of course, this story is fictious and oversimplified. But "any resemblance to real persons, living or dead," is very intentional! The story is true, many times over. Perhaps as you take part in this story you will gain a greater sensitivity to your brothers and sisters around the globe, trapped by poverty and injustice, who are making these very decisions as you read.