As I was driving through a fast food restaurant on the way to work last week, I wondered why I was settling for a SAD (Standard American Diet) meal again, when there is so much wonderful food in this world. My excuse can only be misappropriation of my time, for it certainly is not from a lack of knowledge. I have been exposed to a very diverse menu of mouth-watering dishes because of the diversity of the friends and family I have loved throughout my life.
- I love lasagna and ravioli because of my Italian step-grandmother.
- I love Lo mai gai (steamed sticky rice in grape leaves) because of my Chinese friend.
- I love Borscht because of my Russian maternal grandmother.
- I love Sauerbraten because of my German paternal grandmother.
- I love Chile Relleno because of my Mexican son-in-law.
- I love Escargot because of my French friend.
- I love matzo ball soup because of my Jewish in-laws.
- I love turnip greens because of my African-American friend.
- I love Chicken Curry because of my sister-in-law’s Hindu grandmother.
- I love Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) because of my Vietnamese friend.
It occurred to me that this may be a key factor as to why I am so in love with the diverse cultures in the world, because while they were preparing their food, they told me about their lives “back home”.
Hearing their stories and learning about their paths to America opened up my heart to accept that it is only their cultures that are different from mine, and nothing else. I realized that they all had the same goals that I have had all my life. They just wanted a good life, full of joy and love.
We all have relationships with people that come and go though out our lives, and all of them started out as strangers. Once we got to know each other, these relationships turned into something more comfortable. Some of them became stronger relationships than just co-workers or acquaintances. We consider them to be part of our family, and we would do anything within our power to help and support them. Some of them may even be from a different culture, race, or religion, but our relationship with them crosses even prejudicial barriers. All it took was getting to know them personally.
The whole world is filled with strangers, but they are only strangers to us. They are friends and family to the people who know them personally.
I believe every stranger is a potential friend that I just haven’t met yet, and as the saying goes, any friend of yours is a friend of mine. Technically speaking, we are all friends of a friend of a friend of a friend that will eventually reach around the whole world, I am looking forward to meeting your friends…and getting to eat some really great food.
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My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.