My own outrage was sparked by the Ethiopian famine of 2003, when 14 million people were on the doorstep of starvation.  The markets had failed before the weather did, sapping farmer incentive.  The years of neglect of agriculture development spending were made cruelly manifest.  The uneven plowing fields in global agriculture trade had tilted, once again, to famine.  The starving didn’t have to happen.

On my first day in Addis Ababa in 2003, Volli Carucci of the World Food Program gave me this piece of advice, a warning of sorts:

“Looking into the eyes of someone dying of hunger becomes a disease of the soul.  You see that nobody should have to die of hunger.”

A disease of the soul.  Now that’s one infection we need to spread far and wide.

Roger Thurow, former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, quit his job because he found that his “soul could not rest” until he wrote a book and raised the clamor about world hunger. He found what he refers to as his “calling” through looking into the eyes of the hungry and feeling that pain infect his own being. Whose eyes have struck you that way? What diseases of the soul have informed your calling?


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