You Are What You Are Fed

You cannot hate unless you've been fed hate.  You cannot love unless you've been fed love.

By Bill Simmons on July 31, 2015 


Edited excerpts from a homily done by Deacon Bill Simmons of Saint Anthony's Catholic Church on 7/26/2015.   


You are what you eat. 


We’ve all heard this adage. It basically states that what we consume, we become. When we consume good things, we become more and more good. If we consume good things, we should be more loving, kind, forgiving, you know the rest. But do we become those things? I’d like to offer a new twist on that adage: 


You are what you’re fed. 


Think about this. When we are born, and some even now, we do not feed ourselves. There are others who do this for us. Babies are fed by their parents. Students by their teachers. Friends by their friends. You are the group you associate with. Schools hire and keep teachers who exhibit the ideals of the institution, and these teachers feed the students during their tenure, who eventually become like the institution. Remember, you are what you eat and are fed. Doctors can tell where each other was trained, as so with engineers. It is very interesting that even Priests show signs of the seminary that formed them in the way Mass is celebrated. Deacons also have these quirks, too. 


If you are fed love, kindness, gentleness, compassion, you become those things. So is the same with being fed hatred, bitterness, jealousy, bigotry—you become those things, also. No one comes into this world hating anything or anyone. The same with love.  


We are what we’ve been fed. 


It is difficult for me to listen to and/or read the news in the world. All the negatives of the world are given first place in airing. And we sit there and consume this daily. Does anyone of us think this is not having an effect on us? And now, more than before, we hear, “Well, this happened because of the way they were raised. It’s what their parents and friends taught them!”  


In other words, they became what they were fed.  


How can we break this cycle? I don’t know. It is going to take someone a lot smarter than I to come up with that answer. But I can offer these suggestions:  Let’s think about what we are saying or showing our children and friends, especially if they have a lot of respect for us. That makes them eating what we are feeding them a good thing. Feed them love, happiness, compassion, gentleness.  Not bitterness or hatred.  


You cannot be what you’ve never experienced. It’s impossible! 


Think about this:  Unless you were fed, you would not know how to feed yourself. 


You cannot hate, unless you’ve been fed hate. 


You cannot love, unless you’ve been fed love. 


Jesus fed his disciples love, and they became love. Even in the midst of hatred, he fed love. 


We must all aspire to do the same! 


Be careful what you are feeding those you feed, because they will become just that. 




We are, what we have been, fed.