In the immense interconnectedness of life and the challenges we face as a people, where can we begin in our quest to attain balance – balance in our our selves, our community, and the world family? I suggest that we first explore those aspects of life that unite us in our common humanity. What is it that we will discover? If we traverse the vast corners of the globe, we will find that all humans consume food.
Eating food is the most essential universal activity that sustains life. It is the fundamental ritual that allows us to engage in all other social activities. The kitchen forms a central role in all cultures around the globe.
I suggest that if we can bring harmony into how we grow food and feed ourselves it will have a huge ripple effect on society. It will flow into the economic, political, social and medical aspects of our lives. It will affect how we relate to each other, the planet and other life forms. How is it that we can we bring harmony into this core component of life? Through non-violence.
“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
If we look at most of the social challenges we face, violence in its many forms is the culprit. Violence between people, violence between countries, violence between species, is what creates most of the great injustices of this world.
Those of us who are frustrated with the violence we see in the world, should first look at the blood that is on our hands. If we heed the words of Martin Luther King and bring the principle of nonviolence into all aspects of our lives, we would overcome so many challenges that we face. Yet how do we open the doors to a nonviolent life? With the key of compassion.
“Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein
This to me is the answer. It is by embracing compassion and allowing that compassion to extend out into the world. Out beyond ourselves, beyond our family and friends, beyond our immediate community and even our humanity. Look into the eyes of the other creatures with whom we share this magnificent planet. Welcome them as your neighbor and give true meaning to the words “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.
There are many other reasons why plant based cuisine can bring healing to our world. It is common knowledge at this point that many of the major health related ills can be eliminated and prevented by including more vegan foods in our diets. Just imagine the medical costs that we would save if more people ate in this healthful way.
Eating plant based foods is also perhaps the single most effective action we can take to preserve our environment and the earth’s limited resources. Please see my other article, Earth Day Every Day: Going Green with Plant-based Cuisine, to learn about the many environmental benefits of including more plant based foods in our lifestyle.
I leave you with the words of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”