Posted on September 24, 2012 | Categories: Field Notes
I propose to resolve all of world conflicts with food.
Me and Carol were volunteering last week at the NYC rescue mission, an organization that provides food, shelter and guidance to those who need it (homeless, jobless, or fighting addiction to drugs or alcohol). We spend a few hours there helping with the lunch food service, and it made me remember that a simple thing like a good meal goes a long way.
Providing a nutritious meal to someone that is hungry and hurting often opens the door to discussing deeper needs. It can be the first step in a person’s recovery. – NYC Rescue Mission
Where I come from, we always eat together. And I’m willing to bet, that Kazakhs are the most hospitable people in the whole world. Growing up, I remember every single dinner was eaten with family, and often other relatives of friends. Winning me over is pretty easy, in fact, just give me some good food, and I’ll be purring like a happy cat.
My mom runs her own company (for 12 years now – go Mom!) and the whole company eats together at the big table every day. Their awesome chef is this Uzbek lady who makes me wish I lived and worked there just for her meals – after you eat her food you’re in heaven! And drinking is allowed (and sometimes encouraged) too, actually. Even Joel agrees that company who eats together, stays together.
*A lunch feast at my mom’s office
I’m trying to imagine what happened if instead of armed conflicts with Middle Eastern countries, we organized a huge buffet of food and let them taste Texas-style BBQ, or New Orleans gumbo or have the best American chef give them a taste of modern American cuisine, paired with wine. Would they still grab their frigging guns and start shooting at people who they just shared a meal with? Or, as Sean puts it, just open Starbucks and McDonalds everywhere and win them over, with McNuggets and good iced coffee. There – I just solved one of the biggest world issues, with a simple thing – a good shared meal, that’s as old as the world itself.