“Let There be FOOD for EVERYONE!” a comment for Batallion Hawk Bloggers and their post of this title

For Battalion Hawk Bloggers (aka Global Grade 3) and their post

Let There be FOOD for EVERYONE!

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

It seems your posts always start me thinking in all sorts of directions. Your “Let There be FOOD for EVERYONE!” post is no exception. Let’s see what came to mind this time…

“If the World Were a Village” is a remarkable idea within a book. When we talk about the people of the world, it can be hard to understand what millions or billions of people are. The numbers are hard to imagine yet David J. Smith has been able to show us the meaning of the numbers by comparing the entire world to a village of 100 people, a number many of us can understand as it is often less than the number of students in our school.

 After watching the You Tube presentation of the book linked in your post, I thought about something I shared in another extended comment some time back and how it relates to my feelings on listening to “If the World Were a Village”.

In a post entitled “Genealogy – We are all one big family – for a question about the past” I looked at a little of my family history. What was interesting was realising after only 20 generations back in time (just including parents, grandparents, great grandparents up to 17x great grandparents), we have over a million relatives. I traced back about 68 generations in one line of my family and found the number to be greater than…


That number is impossible unless back through time relatives partnered relatives. I concluded, in order for us to be possible, we don’t have family trees, we have family forests. This means we’re all cousins somewhere along the way through time. Humans are all part of one family.

Thinking of this and “If the World Were a Village”, I decided to look up the definition of “village” in a dictionary. Here is the meaning I found in Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary…

Village: a small assemblage of houses in a country district, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town. (There were other meanings given.)

Under this definition, humans may be in one big family but they don’t live in a village… or do they?

I created a short video slideshow with some thoughts on Earth as a village, humans as a family, and helping others in need.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial purposes.

It seems to me Earth, being only a tiniest speck in the universe and inhabited by a family known as humans, is a small village on a universal stage. Wouldn’t helping friends and neighbours be something many of us would try to do if we could?

At this point I stopped my mind wandering because I wanted to read all of your comments on your "Let There be FOOD for EVERYONE!” post. Here are my thoughts on what you have written…

Chris – Your thoughts are very helpful. There are a number of organisations helping people around the world when they’re in need. They also help in our own countries when disasters strike. Possibly one day you may be helping one of these groups.

Jayden & Lauren – For people in countries like ours, food and clean water only means a trip to the supermarket. In many poorer countries, food isn’t easily available. In order for those with little to be fed, it seems the richer countries need to be willing to give up some of their food to help others. Perhaps instead of having a bottle of soda (soft drink for us Aussies), we could give the money to a charity and drink water.

Ben – One of the problems we can have is resources and how we use them. We might give some cows and chickens to a community. They could then eat them but if they instead looked after them, they could have milk and eggs each day. We could send them grain so they could have a meal or we could help them plant some of the grain so each year they have food.

Tommy – I see, like me, you like to look at numbers and consider what they mean. We may not know anyone who is starving but may have seen reports on people somewhere suffering hunger because of wars or droughts or famine. Using the numbers, it would mean one in four people are starving.

Think of an experiment: Every fourth person in your class becomes the starving one quarter. They are allowed perhaps a piece of bread or maybe a small vegetable to eat only once a day over the next week while everyone else has their normal food. Would you be able to sit eating your normal meal as they watched on? It’s easier for us to ignore what we don’t see. Perhaps if we “open” our eyes and see the starving as people as part of the human family, we wouldn’t sit by doing nothing.

Ella – Sharing is a skill we all are taught when we’re young. We share toys. We share sweets. We share laughs and we share tears. We do this because we are together. As our world seems to “shrink” because it is now so easy to meet through the internet, we are together with more people. As we get to better know the world, won’t we all learn to better share? Imagine the call goes out over the internet. A simple click of a button and we donate just $1. Now if just one in four Canadians clicked the button, that would be over $8 million and if one in four Australians clicked, that would be over another $5 million. Just our two countries could, by a simple click, donate over $13 million to help others in need.

Zubayda & Cemre – I have read there is about four times the number of chickens in the world as there are people. If just one in four were to lay an egg each day, that would be one egg for every person in the world every day.

Christopher & Dimitri – We share food with our friends. We share food with our family. As I wrote earlier in this post, we are one big family of humans. We only need to think globally and share with our family.

Danny & Tyler – One of the important parts of our modern world is how easy it is to move things from country to country. Giving chickens to people may not always be possible because of where they live but sharing what the chickens produce is. Eggs can come in powdered form so they won’t spoil or they can be used in making other foods. It’s sad that while many are willing to share there are others who aren’t. In some cases, the selfish stop food reaching people in need. We need ways to make certain only those who need the food can access it safely.

Chelsea & Rayann – In our history, there have been food planes. Back in 1948 t0 1949, the then Soviet Union stopped supplies reaching West Berlin in Germany. They wanted to force all of Berlin to come under their control. The US Air Force set about delivering supplies by plane. During the blockade, they made over 200,000 flights delivering up to 4700 tons of supplies daily. It saved the people from starvation until the blockade was lifted. If people could do it back then when there was a need, with our modern aircraft, imagine what could be done now.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Blockade

Elijah & Amro – If we look at a small village, it would be much harder to ignore some who are going hungry but, in the video clip I added to this post, I suggested our world is like a small village if you consider just how huge the universe is. Can we continue to ignore those in need?

James – Your class’s experiment with numbers made “If the World Were a Village” a much more personal experience. It helped you place yourselves into a more personal encounter with hunger. Here are some more numbers. If there are about 7 billion people in the world and 25 members of your class, each one of you represented about 280 million people. That’s an amazing number.

AJ – As with James, each of you represented 280 million people. Your amazing experiment with numbers made it easier to understand and shows us it is possible to feed the world if only we are willing to try.

Nick & Christopher – “It is not fair that there is enough food to go around for everyone but still some people are starving.” Well said! It isn’t fair yet there are many who don’t care so long as they have plenty. By learning how we can help others, we can also learn how to care. There is something called empathy (entering into the spirit or feeling of another). If we wonder if we should help others, we should try to think of ourselves in their place. Would we like others to help us if we were in need?

Joyce – I think Ben’s suggestion was interesting. If we were to better share the available food, how would we decide? If we rolled the dice, some would get more or better food and others less. Maybe in the future the learning you do now will help you become one of the people in our world who works to feed those in need. Wouldn’t that be a challenge?

Rebecca – I do think of the world as a village occupied by one family, humans. It’s a world where there can be enough for all, where we can protect our environment for the future, and where we all grow concerned when we see need and are determined to help. The future is yours. How many of you will take up the challenge of the future and make our world a better, safer, healthier place to live?

Battalion Hawk Bloggers

At the end of your post, you state, “We KNOW it isn’t as easy as this to make sure that EVERYONE in the world has enough to eat…”

You go on to list the reasons why there are difficulties, a very important part of determining a solution to a problem. If we better understand “why not” it becomes easier to work out “how we can”.

“How can we ALL work together to ensure that the people in our global village have enough to eat?”

You have already started that journey. You know there is a problem and there can be enough. The more people becoming aware, the more there are to work towards a solution. At no time before in the history of our world has it been so easy to know where there are problems in the world and have the means to do something about it. It only takes the will to try.

One world, one village, one family… Together, hand in hand, we can achieve great things.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

2 thoughts on ““Let There be FOOD for EVERYONE!” a comment for Batallion Hawk Bloggers and their post of this title

  1. The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    It’s GREAT to receive another extended comment from you! We LOVE it when our posts start your mind a-thinking! We are sorry it took us so long to write back … we are FINALLY getting caught up! We have promised ourselves to be COMPLETELY caught up before we head off for Winter Break!

    Your video was VERY inspiring … we LOVED it! We really liked how it went from the individual to the family, to the class, to the school, to the community, to the town, to the nation, to the planet and then out even further into the great beyond! We LOVED how you said “Are we not a small community amongst the stars?” When you look at earth THIS way it really shows that we should really stick together … the earth IS a village.

    Ross … 68 generations? We can’t even BEGIN to think about that kind of math. How long did it TAKE you to work through your family forest to find THAT huge number. That’s even BIGGER than the current world population! Ouch. Our brains hurt just THINKING about it!!! 😉 Wow. Ross … you must be an AWESOME mathematician TOO!

    You are right, Ross. Part of the reason many people don’t think about helping is because we don’t see these people suffering through droughts, famine and war. It isn’t a part of our everyday lives. That is why it is SO important for us to learn about our world! If we saw our neighbours on the streets starving we would help them. We couldn’t let that happen. We agree with you that we need to help and giving animals that people can keep alive, like chickens and cows to provide food like eggs and milk and NEW animals, is very important. That’s about helping to build capacity too. We are doing a little learning about this as well. We think the way we should do it is to teach people and show them how to be independent … with support … so that they don’t wait for other people in the global village to send food. It is about helping, when needed, teaching and sharing what they need to become independent.

    We really love your quote: “One world, one village, one family … Together, hand in hand, we can achieve great things.” It is really POWERFUL because we should ALL be in this TOGETHER. It is OUR world, and none of us should be left out.

    Thank you, again, for another great extended comment. If we ALL work together … IMAGINE the possibilities!

    The Battalion Hawk Bloggers 🙂

  2. rossmannell

    Post author

    Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

    Like you, I can fall behind in commenting, especially when times can be busy. Now school posts have calmed down, I am almost up to date so the last 3 comments for you will finish off the backlog. 🙂

    One small secret in the video clip I made for you… In the first photo on the clip, I am the baby on the right. The other boy is my older brother and the dog was called Topsy. While our dog is long gone, my older brother is a linguistics lecturer and researcher at a university. Of course, you know me through blogging. 🙂

    I can’t claim responsibility for all of the research into my history. Two uncles spent much of their lives researching family history. A cousin continued the research after inheriting material from her father, my uncle. She went on to produce a book for the family. It contains hundreds of pages looking into the past. The problem is, the further back in time you go, the less reliable records can be. There are many links to kings, queens, dukes, emperors, knights, lords, etc in my family past as there would be for all of you. The 68 generations I gave as an example takes me back to emperors of Rome.

    The maths wasn’t too bad. All you have to do is double for each generation. You can do this manually but, being the nerdy type of guy, I have a way you can do the calculation more easily using a spreadsheet if you have Excel.

    Click on one of the cells in a spreadsheet and type the following…

    When you hit enter, it will give the answer 1024. What that means is 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 and that is 1024. What it says to me is 2 to the power of 10.

    For 68 generations…

    This will give the answer something like…

    The E+20 tells me there are twenty whole number places before the 2 so this means the number above is…


    This is close to the 300,000,000,000,000,000,000 I gave in the post.

    Does that blow your mathematical minds? 🙂

    …back to the real world of commenting.

    One of the big advantages of our connected world of today is the ability for large numbers of people to become aware. The world is waking up to the idea this is one world. With awareness can come concern, with concern can come the will to improve.

    There is an old proverb (Chinese I think). It says…
    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    I think this old proverb is exactly what you have realised. We can feed people but it is far better to help them learn how to feed themselves and give them the help they need to do so.



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