Weekly Mindfulness Support Blog - Who do we have to Thank?
Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, April 23, 2021. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.
Before each meal, DC and I take a few moments to thank all those who have directly and indirectly contributed to the food that nourishes our body and sustains our life. To date, we have yet to be able to identify a single person, place, or thing that in some way has NOT had a role in the production, distribution, or preparation of our meal.
Who do we have to thank for our meals? Everyone, and everything.
Particularly in the west, there is a strong sense of individualism, or independence. Coinciding with this independent thinking is a tendency to overlook the causes and conditions underlying the abundant resources available to us. Unfortunately, many of these resources are often taken for granted.
“A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labor of others." Albert Einstein.
This morning I had oatmeal and toast for breakfast – and coffee, lots of coffee. Even though I bought the rolled oats from the store, that’s not where they came from. It states on the packaging that I ate “a product of Canada.” Somewhere in the agricultural lands of Canada, the oats that I had for breakfast were sowed, tended to, and harvested by people who I have never met. I am directly connected to all those in Canada who put the time and energy into the production of the oats.
These Canadian oats didn’t magically appear in the store. After being harvested, they were toasted, hulled, steamed, rolled, packaged, and transported by trucks on roads and over bridges spanning river canyons that may have channeled the vary waters used to produce the oats. I am directly connected to all the people – and the environments in which they live – who put time and energy into the preparation and packaging, the building of the roads and bridges, and the manufacturing of the vehicles which transported the oats to the store. I am directly connected to all the people who work in and built the store where I bought the oats. I was able to pay for the oats because I have a job. I was able to cook my oats in a saucepan which has its own story. Literally, everything we have is due to the efforts of others and the environments in which they live. We are directly connected to these people and places.
Furthermore, all the people who put time and effort into my oat breakfast are in direct connection with others who put time and effort into whatever they ate for breakfast. As we explore this web of coexistence, we can see how utterly dependent we are on the efforts and the environments of others – across the globe.
Einstein’s quote is important because it inspires a state of gratitude and an appreciation for the time and energy put into our resources. It helps to develop a deep understanding that we are in fact inseparable. In calling this truth to mind, we can see that others are not competitors or enemies. Instead, they support our very existence. Even if only through the exhalation of Carbon Dioxide which is taken up by the oat grass to produce its seed, that person (and non-human animals) is supporting our life. We have everyone to thank.
When we take a moment to recognize how we are supported by others and the environments in which they live, we begin to take interest in their well-being. Because their well-being directly effects our own well-being.
Thank you for my breakfast, I could not have had it without you.
You are Loved by me, Unconditionally!
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