Boy with Balloons Small

 

Boy With Balloons on EBAY

 

“Why don’t we take some homeless people out to dinner???” I asked my friend. We don’t have to do it everyday, but just once in awhile…perhaps. Eating food together is the most fundamental thing we do as humans. Our first food comes from another’s love—our mother’s breast. Until we can feed ourselves, eating is an act of love. Someone, for the love us, fed us. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.

Then, somewhere along the way, we stop feeding others.

When I was a school teacher, half days were a waste of time in art. 20 minute periods were just enough to get the art supplies out, and then promptly put them away again. So, I decided to make community. I bought a big bag of pancake mix, syrup, a griddle, and some frozen cans of orange juice. I put an art film on for the students, and then went to work making hungry 15 year-olds breakfast.

Some always chose to help. Someone would mix up the dough, another would add water to the OJ, another would open the paper plates, the syrup bottle, or divvy up the forks. It was a group, collaborative, our community based way to love on others. The kids felt loved by me for doing it, and I felt loved by watching their peers help.

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I suppose things haven’t changed much, I am still making food for others, and thankfully, I still have helpers. My friend George gave me a check and said, “Do what you think best with it.” I sat on it for awhile. I didn’t know what to do. The large sum of money was daunting. I didn’t want to let him down. I wanted to make the most and get the most from it. Just going and buying a ton of can food would be…a poor use I felt.

I had and idea. The boys at the gym have to sell cookie dough. The money will be used to help the girls, the gym, and the parents. These boys are schlepping from door to door hawking their dough and everyone benefits really…but them. But they are doing it joyfully.

I talked to the boys and George and this is our plan: I will buy one tub of cookie dough from every boy, thus helping the gym, the parents, and the girls. It will also obviously help the boys do less work. But, I’ve asked that every boy bake all the cookies that I have purchased (via George) and give them to me to hand out to the homeless. If they want, they can help me hand them out.

In a sense, we have multiplied the good. And, taught the boys a thing or two about giving, love, compassion, and baking cookies.

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My friend Susan does this all the time. She loves on people by baking her famous cookies. While I ran around the US, she would send me cookie shipments at regular intervals to power my legs and often, my flagging spirits. She loved on me by buying me some garden starters when I came to Eugene. Even though fall was well upon me, I planted them and took the first harvest of my greens the other day. This is the first time I have ever grown anything…and ate it. So cool.

My friend Leo said, he wants to do exactly what I said. He wants to take a homeless person out for a 5 star meal. I said, for the price of one $$$ meal, I can feed more people, if I make it all myself. So he bought me a Safeway card via the mail, and that is exactly what I will do.

The ancient Hawaiians felt that eating together was the most important act in one’s life. It was sacred. They believed you could have sex with anyone, why hold back love, but eating…eating was very important. Women weren’t allowed to eat 5 sacred foods (male virility foods like coconuts and bananas…get the point), that may seem like a bad deal, but realize too that women never did the cooking. That was man’s work.

It is interesting that in our post Judeo/Christian/Puritanical society we make such a big deal about sex and Janet Jacksons boob popping out…and yet allow people to go hungry on the street. Perhaps the ancient Hawaiians had a better sense of what was important than we do? More than any other command, Jesus said, “Feed the poor” over and over. The Buddha was saved and found enlightenment in the hands of a small girl with a bowl of rice porridge.

Who are we to do less?

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