Monday, August 15, 2016
“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” ― Brian Tracy
I was watching an old episode of “Friends” in which Joey refused to share his food at a restaurant with his date. His date was shocked and would have nothing to do with him after that. I was on Joey's side. It reminded me that as a child, eating was a competitive event. No one shared. My mother would put five pork chops on a serving plate for us four children and then say, “Whoever finishes first can have the fifth pork chop.” It was usually me. The rest of my life, my father would always complain that I ate too fast. He didn’t know how I came to be such a speedy eater as he was almost never at home at meal time. If there was just one thing to eat for two of us, the rule was that whichever one cut, the other got to choose which piece. I hated to cut. When I took Karen to the movies for the first time, I asked her if she wanted some popcorn. She said, “No, I’ll just eat some of yours.” Oh no she wouldn’t. I told her I’d buy her three tubs and she could throw two of them away, but I wouldn’t be sharing my popcorn. It took me decades to get to the point that I would give my any of my food away. You could almost guess that from my size, eh? Then, on a mission trip to the Peruvian Amazon back in 2001, I had a big order of French fries (chips here) and was being followed by four very small children. Overcome with guilt, I handed the whole package to the biggest girl just behind me. She fed all three of her siblings before she would take a single French fry for herself. I wept. How could I have been so selfish for so long? That moment was the beginning of a big change in my life. Just yesterday, I had Rachel pop me some popcorn (they grow it here). She filled a big bowl and handed it to me. I had her bring me a small bowl and filled the small bowl with popcorn. Then, to her surprise, I kept the small bowl and told her to take the rest home to her two boys (I happened to know they love popcorn). You’d have thought I just gave Rachel a new car, she was so grateful and happy—over a bowl of popcorn. We forget how the smallest of things to us can be huge to those who have next to nothing. The next time you have to take a doggy bag home from a restaurant, think about stopping by some homeless person and offering them that food. It might change their world, and it might change yours.