THE FOOD YOU JUST DUMPED COULD HAVE FILLED ANOTHER HUNGRY STOMACH

In my family, leaving some food on the plate and leaving two gulps of beverage in glass when eating at functions or at other people's houses is considered the 'proper way to eat and drink'.

If I clean up my plate and didn't leave a drop of what I drink, it is considered I am not stuffed enough and the host is obliged to fill my plate and glass until I get so stuffed, I can't eat or drink no more, I finally leave some food uneaten.

This extends to home too; my Mom would leave some rice in the rice cooker container at night after everyone has eaten dinner and fill it with water before she gets to bed. When I asked her why does she do it, she told me if we don't leave some rice uneaten overnight, Maha Lakshmi (the Hindu goddess of wealth) will run away from our home. I am not exaggerating, those were her exact words.

I remember asking my mom sarcastically, "With whom Maha Lakshmi is gonna run away with, ditching her consort, Lord Vishnu?" My aghast mom exclaimed that I should not speak like that about God.

And then, anthropomorphic Hindu idols get 'showered' by milk, honey, yogurt and a mashed mixture of banana, dates and grapes and 2 other fruits, known as 'panjamirtham' daily and there are starving babies and people who would be eternally grateful if all the edible food are given to them, instead of squandering it on lifeless deities.

Which god told us they want to be bathed by milk and honey? It is us, apple polishing god in the belief that a seat in heaven would be confirmed to us after our departure from this world. In short, we are bribing god to get a ticket to afterlife paradise. But, afterlife paradise is an uncertainty; life here, on earth is a certainty so why don't we create a certain paradise here on earth by eating sensibly and not waste life sustaining food?! It is not too much to ask, is it? We are getting sick by eating too much and there are people in this world who are sick because they have too little to eat!!
Aren't my mom's belief, my relatives' perception and the customary in Hindu temples not only senseless but wasteful too? One might say, "Little only what.. not a whole plate or glass of food and drink is thrown away.." 

What you think as little, collectively gets colossal as others dump the leftovers on their plates just because their belly is bursting at the seams with food overload. That food which is thrown into the trashcan can make all the difference to a starving child or a poor, famished family. That food you just dumped could save a life.

If we finish the food on our plate and drink the beverage served to us till the last drop, it doesn't mean we want more food. It means we appreciate the food served to us and we show our appreciation by finishing the food served. It is not also greediness; it is thankfulness

As for the Maha Lakshmi runaway tale, it is merely superstition combined with stupidity. The belief that prosperity will fill the house if some rice is not eaten at night is utterly asinine. Did the goddess appear before her supplicants saying she will run away from your home if you eat all the rice in the rice bowl at night before hitting the sack? 

Your guess is as good as mine.

The real purpose of leaving some rice uneaten in the rice bowl at night and pouring water in the rice bowl is give it to the anna kavadis who go door to door to beg for food in the 
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