“Drink Your Milk — There are Children Starving in Africa!”

In 1968 Dr. Har Gobind Khorana won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was an American citizen, but he was of Indian origin and the honor was widely celebrated in his country of birth. Indian newspapers and magazines published lengthy interviews, and many touched on his personal story and the struggles he went through.

His father was a village clerk, and his first school was an open spot under a tree. Their circumstances were straitened, and resources of any kind were never wasted. In one interview, Dr. Khorana confessed that it distressed him when his children pushed away half-drunk glasses of milk and thought nothing of it.

It is quite common for parents to enjoin their children to finish eating their food by telling them that there are starving children in many parts of the world. A litterateur, who faced this in younger days, wrote a scathing essay about the practice. He pointed out, logically, that whether he cleaned his plate made no difference to any starving child anywhere in the world. That food would never get to that hungry youngster.

He is correct. He also misses the point.

This is not about the starving children. It is about raising your consciousness and making you aware that there are starving children and there is inequality in the world and not everyone is as fortunate as you and food should not be wasted. If you feel bloated, then perhaps you will take less on your plate the next time.

And, some day, this raised consciousness may lead you to do something that address the issue of global hunger.

Who knows?

Bear this in mind the next time you enjoin your children to finish their food.

Peace!

Srikumar Rao is the author of “Are You Ready to Succeed?” and creator of the celebrated MBA course, “Creativity & Personal Mastery.” // theraoinstitute.com