Baking it Forward: Calming Fears and Uncertainty

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A few years back, I started baking it forward on Fridays to spread a bit of cheer.

I figured I was given a talent for a reason.  Yes, I teach and yes I blog (I guess that’s teaching virtually!), but it seemed, at times, that it just wasn’t enough.

So, on Fridays, as most of you know, I bake a treat and bring it to someone who needs it.  Sometimes, the person who needs it is struggling…and sometimes the person who needs it just needs to know that they are awesome.  Regardless, I get as much out of it as they do because, like I’ve said before, I often feel like a flower delivery guy….and who doesn’t get a thrill from someone smiling big and saying “oh my God, is that for me??”?

But, in the past week, I have been doing a lot of thinking about doing “good” through food.  Yes, food is nourishment and that, in itself, is wonderful – to realize that one small act of preparing a meal, can nutritionally sustain another human being.  Pretty amazing, right?  But what about the deeper affect?  What about food as nourishment for the soul?  What about feeding and sharing food with others to say “I really love you” or “I think you needed this little pick me up today” or simply “everything is going to be okay”?

I am almost finished writing a post about an event I attended last week, the day after the Paris attacks.  Strangely, it’s about Bonne Maman, a jam made in France.  While I was writing, I started thinking about Paris and how people there (and everywhere else in the world that has been touched by these attacks) have been affected.  Nowhere must it be more evident than in those cities and towns that we need, more than ever, to feel that “everything is going to be okay”.

As a result of these recent events, I believe more and more people around us are feeling scared and uncertain.  And, with fear and uncertainty, it has become so easy for us to revert back to our own little piece of the universe and just wait for things to get better.  But I believe that we need to step up and help things in the world improve – be part of the equation and have faith that things will change for the better.

Am I asking you to solve world peace?  Not really.  But, maybe I am…

I remember someone once saying that there isn’t a person on this planet that we couldn’t love, if we just knew their story.  And, when you begin to approach people with that in mind, everything, including hatred, begins to change.  If we begin to think that everyone’s story, good or bad, has a bearing on how they react to the world, then things become a bit more clear.  What if the young man living on the streets, was treated with respect and love (instead of disgust), maybe he wouldn’t have committed a crime.  What if that child was made to feel honoured and important?  Maybe, then, she wouldn’t have bullied the new kid in class.

Small acts of kindness are so much more than “small acts”…they are kind gestures that can heal those wounds which only tenderness and compassion can fix.  So today, I am baking it forward and delivering small treats all weekend long, hoping that many small acts combined can indirectly heal the wounds of a nation.

“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry or do this or do that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever it is that I am supposed to do, what I can do.  I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength.  I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things”

Mother Teresa