Multa docet fames.

Hunger teaches us many things.

(Pron = mool-tah doh-ket fah-mays)

Comment: Certainly, on the heels of hurricane Katrina and the horrors left in
her path, this proverb awakens several connections for us. Even if, we
ourselves, are not hungry, we are seeing and hearing about those who are, and
the association to hunger and thirst and lack of shelter has the potential to
teach us many things.

My own learning seems to happen around questions, and questions seem to always
imply their answers. And so in the aftermath of Katrina, questions arise: Even
as citizens of the world’s superpower, how strong and how fragile are we? Many
nations have responded to our own cry for help—as many as 90, the news services
say. Many nations are surprised that the great superpower needs their help.
Nigeria, for instance, has already given one million dollars to aid in our
suffering, a nation of people who live in the soup of suffering on a daily

Our own experience with hunger, thirst, lack of shelter and medical aid has
brought response from all over the world. At least momentarily, various walls
that often go up so fast and firm, come down. Hunger and thirst and
homelessness on this level seems to override religion, politics, race, language
and national boundaries. It leaves me wondering how much we will really learn
from Hunger when she has finished teaching us her lessons. As any teacher
knows—just because something was taught doesn’t necessarily mean that anything
was learned.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.