I’ve lost count of how many times the church sermons inspired me to write a new blog post. Today, they talked about being grateful and the joy of sharing – which I can truly relate as an avid traveller.
By the way, my dad thinks it’s weird that I go to two churches every Sunday (Catholic mass in the morning then Anglican mass in the afternoon).
I’m not a super religious person but it sparks joy because each has a different ritual style. You get to sing different kind of songs as well!
Ok, back to the topic. When I was a kid and lived in Indonesia, my family had a maid. Although after some period we changed maid, I still remember this particular habit of my mother: she would share food with them.
My mother also taught me that food wasn’t to be hoarded and I should always share it when I had more than enough. After all, it would taste differently when kept in the fridge for a few days.
When I stepped into the working life, I had a wonderful lady boss who’s very kind-hearted and generous. She would let us eat and finish the unfinished food for the guest (we’re talking about Wagyu, high-end canapé and champagne here).
She even invited all of the employees for dinner at her house during Christmas. Well-fed us with delicious home-cooked meals (rich pumpkin soup, raclette, cheese fondue, king prawns, grilled lamb, cakes, etc).
I learned from both amazing women how to treat others and how sharing brings happiness.
Sharing Food with Strangers
Sharing truly sparks joy.
Although I’m diligent in saving money for travelling (and retirement), when it comes to food, you won’t see me eating cup noodles when travelling.
I love good, decent meals. I’d rather stay at home than pinching-penny on food when travelling.
Luckily, my mother and ex-lady boss taught me that sharing is caring. So, never once I think ‘oh, this food is too expensive to be shared. I’d rather finish it myself’.
When I visited Prague in 2015, I had a list of food that I wanted to try. Unfortunately, I had quite a big meal for lunch. THEN, I saw lángos (a Hungarian deep-fried dough).
I was dying to try it, especially the cheese-garlic-tomato sauce flavour. I wanted to try it without throwing the food (and my money) away. I was thinking hard… until I saw a homeless man.
So I approached him and asked if he would like to share a lángos with me because I was already full. And he agreed! Yaaay! I broke a small piece for myself and gave the rest to him.
He really made my day. Thank you, stranger!!!
During my Spain & Portugal trip last year, sometimes I would share my food and drink with my tour leader. I still remember the day when this tall, friendly man ordered a small sandwich for lunch.
So I shared with him some of my meatballs – which he refused at first, but happily ate when I insisted.
“Thank you!”, he smiled so big, showing a set of nice, white teeth.
To me, sharing food that I know I won’t be able to finish sparks joy. It’s not about the cost of the food and who pays for it.
Instead of thinking about how many months it takes me to afford the trip, I would think the value of the food doubled or tripled when it’s shared with others.
Instead of thinking that lucky person gets a free meal, I would think ‘with the amount that I pay, it makes more than one tummy happy’. It’s like paying one for two!
Furthermore, you can sample as much food as you like without gaining too much weight 😛
Sharing is an Act of Gratitude
The habit can be applied in daily life as well. For instance…
- If the portion of the food is too big for you, pack half of it for the next day. Or give it to the security guard, the maid or the cleaner. But before you give, ask them first if they’d like to receive it. Not everyone likes to receive ‘leftover’ food.
- When you have personal or company events, remember the people that you hire for their services. They could be the photographer or the event planner. Like humans, they get hungry and thirsty, so make sure you feed them too, not just the guests.
In this modern world, it’s better to give and receive so people won’t take advantage of us.
However, there are certain situations where giving without hoping something in return sparks true happiness and peace within. You can do it anytime, even when you’re travelling.
Sharing or giving is an act of gratitude.
By doing so, you’re passing on the blessing bestowed upon you. And may the blessing comes back to you.
If not in this life, perhaps in the afterlife.
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