Real Values

Morning at the Le Neubourg market
Morning at the Le Neubourg market

Looking forward without looking left, right, or behind (fracking); violence on the street in a London neighborhood; Beckham quitting soccer; the destruction of Syria as we’ve known it; Amnesty International’s list of political prisoners; resistance to health care for all…the list of imponderables goes on.

How to make sense of it, and keep a bold and happy spirit? By focusing on real values, among them the art of cooking. I mean it. Thinking globally and acting locally is the only way to survive, I’ve decided. And going a couple steps beyond that, buying ingredients locally from the hands of the people who produce them, then taking them home and turning them into a snack, a meal or a feast which is shared with family, friends neighbors…well, not only is this an antidote to the imponderables, it puts one in touch with what is real. You can hear, feel, smell and understand what it is you’re doing. Things settle into a certain “normalcy”.

I couldn’t help but have this thought as I debated with a a tolerant and loving friend this morning who is battling rising feelings of racism when he reads the news; nor when I strolled an “ethnic” neighborhood in Paris and realized how closed it was; nor when I heard a French politician discourse, coldly and without passion, about the why of not helping the Syrian population. What can we, as individuals, do to make our hurly burly, turned upside-down world right itself?

Cook. With love. Share what we cook. Buy from the people who are, with their hoes, tractors, seeds, and back-breaking labor bringing us joy, flavor, and nutrition.

Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends

I know, it’s simplistic. But while I write my check to Amnesty International or Mercy Corps and thank the heavens these organizations exist, beyond that there seems little I can do. So, I get back to what are, to me, real values. Values of support, fullness, abundance and sharing, on whatever level those can be done. Focusing on these rights my world.

If you’ve got better ideas, I’ll listen.


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