What is it about food that makes it so foundational to our relationships? Whether dining out on a first date, bringing a meal to a friend in need of comfort or preparing a family feast in celebration, food seems to be at the heart of it all. Someone once told me that because food is a basic need, sharing it with others has a primal feel to it. I doubled-checked the meaning of primal: relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; essential; fundamental. Is it somehow related to a human being’s primal need to connect? Does bringing together two such basic needs somehow create a more powerful synergy? I think it must. On a first date, it’s ’breaking bread’ together, beginning to share some of our most basic likes and dislikes with each other: basic human connection. When we bring food to someone who is in need of comfort we are demonstrating our innate caring and concern for others: basic human connection. When we prepare a large meal to feed a gathering of our loved ones in celebration we are validating our togetherness in reaching milestones in our lives: basic human connection. The sharing of food is a bridge to connection. This made me wonder about other ways that this bridge could be useful today, given that we have lost so much human connection over the past year and a half - and given that we are in great need of restoring connection on so many different levels these days. I can’t change the world by myself, but I can change my personal world, and perhaps this use of food and connection would be a good starting point. I will reach out today to someone important to me who I haven’t seen in a while and make plans to share a meal with them. I will connect with someone who is in my life but who I don’t really have a relationship with and invite them to a coffee date so we can get to know each other a little better. I will invite a bunch of my friends to come together to prepare and share a meal together to celebrate beginning to emerge from the darkness of the past year into the light. I will seek out a stranger in need and find a way to have a nutritious and comforting meal delivered to them. I will feed my own soul with its primal need to connect with other human beings and will use the joy and comfort and gift of food to do so. I think that’s how we change things: one bite at a time. Care to join me?
Always thinking of you, B