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Category Archives: Peace
Growing up I have heard a story from my dad’s childhood many times. He would tell me about how poor they were, and about the lack of food during the war. The weekly meat ration for a family with five kids was 350 grams – less than one pound. On Sundays, when the meat was served, my dad’s father would always pass on the meat saying he was not hungry, so that the kids could have more.
A friend who was an exchange student in China told me a similar story. The family of his Chinese room mate who could hardly afford feeding a guest would take him to an expensive restaurant and treat him like a king.
When I was vacationing in Croatia, we stayed with a family that rented out an apartment. They were not wealthy. But they insisted on treating us to a bountiful dinner they made for my whole family with all the riches of their region – the seafood, the wine, the home made liquor. We had no language in common, but we ate and laughed and talked with hand and feet until late in the night.
In my family it was also customary that when someone came to the house you would offer food and drink and not give in until they accepted something.
It seems to me that we all love contributing to other people’s lives and well being. Feeding someone is such an immediate way to do so. I think we all can relate to that. It’s so quintessentially human.
What if we shared food beyond all social boundaries? What if saw food like air – it’s there for everybody? What if we made sure that everybody eats?
I am often confused.
Should I try to make a difference in the world or is it best to focus on my own inner peace and happiness because then these beautiful qualities will spread and that is the best contribution I can make?
Does it even make sense to figure out how to make a positive impact on the world which in its vastness and complexity is much more than I can ever understand?
How come that I was born in a place and time that allows me my daily hot shower, plenty of food, conveniences like effortless transportation, a washer and dryer, total access to information etc – while millions of people starve? What is the meaning of this condition?
You may have found answers to the ultimate questions of life, maybe in your religion, maybe in a daily practice of meditation, maybe you are too busy to consider them.
I find comfort with my friends the vegetables, the nuts, the beans and the millet.
There is such a indisputable goodness to them. Such gentle surrender, such beauty and total giving, such awesome simplicity.
It’s not just that I can be with them, they actually allow me to participate in the flow of life more fully, by enjoying their beauty, sharing their bounty and spreading their wisdom. They truly comfort me.