I am a romantic at heart.
I believe that people, not technology, will save the world.
But it is on the how, that I often stumble.
Despite our unquestionable brilliance, we are changing the world in a way that is often unthinkable, destroying those primary resources we require in order to survive - water being maybe the most absurd of examples.
Stopping at the negative, however, will only manage to drag you down into an abyss of documented atrocities we are committing against other humans, the animal world, and Mother Nature herself.
Fortunately, negativity is but only one side of the story and as an incurable romantic, I asked myself “How Can We Save the World?”
“How do you get people to care about our planet, and heath, communities and hearts?”
At the beginning I thought it was food.
Being born and raised in a culture that dedicates so much respect to the act of eating really inspired me to look at the dinner table for the answers.
And it did provide many.
Aligned with the teachings of Slow Food, the ingredients that make their way to my family dinner table strive to be flavourful, clean and ethically sourced.
However, as you work through the layers of understanding of what it really means to source food according to the Slow Food mandate, it seems evident that nourishment is only a piece of the pie. The idea of health naturally seeps in - health of the body of course but also health of the mind; both on a personal and cosmic level.
What I am trying to say is that talking about food really means talking about life and life is a complex experience that requires your constant attention in order to thrive. Suddenly, food is not an answer but a tool - one of many really.
Yoga brings discipline and stability in your everyday life, physical exercise promotes strength and longevity. Ecology gives us an understanding of Mother Earth and what about swimming, meditating, dancing, art, music?
Finally it occurred to me, that it is not yoga (understand these in context please as I truly appreciate the value that certain practices have in my life and those I know), ecology, meditating, music and not even eating local will be the solution: those are the tools we have - tools that allows us to pay attention to what is happening around us.
Paying attention is conducive to caring because suddenly we are not passively accepting what is, but we are observing it; sometimes we’ll criticize it, but more simply we are participating.
The key then becomes moving from participation to investment.
Let’s start from drawing a basic difference with a simple example.
Involvement (participation) is buying a local apple at your average corporate grocery store. It’s maybe understanding the issue at a surface level but it also means choosing to participate in the conversation.
Investment is not being able to sleep, because asparagus season is just about to start and your kids just cant wait to visit Bruce’s Asparagus Farm to pick up your 10 lbs order.
How, then, to create investment?
The truth is I don’t know that yet, but the issue here is not knowing the answer but simply to start from somewhere - anywhere really.
I planted a “free garden” once in my front yard. Sure, it didn’t go over so well (the sign that explained the project was quickly stolen) but it did spark an interest; after that, it was chickens in my backyard and after that we started to host dinners in our back alley, inviting neighbours to come out.
Like most things in life, Investment is something we learn.
Once you have learned the rewarding feeling that accompanies investment, you simply apply it to other elements of your life.
All of a sudden, you will find yourself a member of community within community within community: You will be a citizen and Yogi, Ethical Meat Eater and Book Club Member, Meditator and CSA aficionado armed with the gift of investment and wanting more then being a name added to a list.
Investments wins communities and communities are what will save the world.
So how will you save the world in one easy step? Simple, all you have to do is start trying.
Chef/Owner – One Big Table - Kelowna, B.C.