in: Advice, Character, Sunday Firesides

Sunday Firesides: The 6 Hungers Every Man Must Feed

We typically associate hunger with the desire for food. But there are, in fact, half a dozen other appetites that exist within the human organism, each of which must be fed to maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health:

Sunlight. Place a houseplant in the shadows, and its leaves wilt and droop. While invisible to the eye, the same thing happens to human beings. Many ancient cultures worshiped the sun; we would do well to make daily ablutions in its light.

Movement. You don’t need an activity tracker to tell you when to get out of a chair. Sit for too long, and the body begins to ache, balking at the sedentary stillness and yearning to fulfill the measure of its creation — walking, running, climbing, moving.  

Nature. Consume a steady diet of manufactured structures, climate-controlled air, and artificial surfaces, and you start craving a missing nutrient that can only be found down wooded paths and under canopies of stars.

Socialization. Some need a little; some need a lot. But no one can go too long without looking someone in the eye and feeling the hum of face-to-face connection.

Meaning. Go through the motions without a larger purpose behind them, and the gears of life begin to grind. Feeding on a why puts the juice in their joints.

Silence. Paradoxically, you possess an appetite for emptiness. When glutted on inputs, silence can feel like surprisingly substantial fare and truly hit the spot. 

Quietude not only fulfills a need in itself but is essential for tuning in to all the other hungers.

In the modern day, we overeat food for the same reason we under-nourish the other appetites: we lose touch with their signals amidst noise and distraction. Your body, mind, and spirit know exactly what they need to thrive — if only you’ll listen to their subtle-yet-vital pangs.  

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