Mark Eckhardt

Thoughts On Cool Shit That Matters

ark is a Zen Priest who trains visionary leaders, launches social businesses, loves cycling, composing music and trying to make the world spin in the opposite way.

What Hunger Can Teach You?

I had the good fortune of working with a very talented and bright director this week. Towards the end of our time together, he shared a story about pirates in Somalia that moved me very much.

Apparently a few years back, a friend of his traveled to Somalia on his own. His intention was to better understand the actions of the pirates who had reaped so much havoic, and made off with millions in ransom money from shipping companies throughout the globe. He shared that his friend conducted several interviews, one of which revealed the root cuase of what the world perceives as evil doing on the part of the pirates.

From those conversations the director's friend learned that originally the pirates where fisherman who had attempted to use their boats as a blockade to stop foreign companies from dumping illegal toxins off their shores. They did this because Somalia has no government, Navy or Coast Guard. In lou of no protection, the fisherman also had no choice but to try to defend themselves from foreign fishing companies that were depleting the supply of fish to the extent that they could not earn enough money to feed themselves and their families? This is what led to the violence we see today.

The question that exposed everything for what it was/is was, "What education and training did you get in order to become a pirate?" The man being interviewed replied, "Hunger will teach you everything."

Those words went right through me, and although I do not condone violence and conducting outright crimes, the reality of surrounding the conditons in Somalia should be reason enough to pause.

So how has hunger educated you? You might not be a pirate, or maybe you are?