On this first day of a new year, I fast. For 24 hours, I am only ingesting water and green tea.
There are documented health benefits of fasting. It flushes out toxins that have accumulated in our bodies and jumpstarts our metabolism for potential weight loss.
But today I fast in remembrance and in solidarity.
In remembrance of those who do not have enough to eat on a daily basis, for whom fasting is not a choice. The pangs of hunger I feel are nothing compared to what starving children feel. Missing three meals today won’t kill me, but it can kill a baby and, in fact, does every day, even in this Land of Plenty.
In solidarity with those for whom refusing to eat is a form of civil disobedience. Alice Paul, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Nelson Mandela are among those who chose to sacrifice their own comfort and well-being for a cause bigger than they: Liberation from oppression.
Today, I fast. For a few hours, I will be hungry. More significantly, I will feel a connection to those who need our intervention to survive and to those who were determined to claim social justice as their birthright.