Alright, I must confess I am a self-proclaimed foodie, and from time to time, I binge-watch YouTube’s food channels.
Every culture has its cuisine steeped in history. The bond of a food tells interesting stories about the people, and it fascinates me.
Food-hunters existed centuries before YouTubers began filming their food explorations. In the past, these people were either adventurers or botanists, and some may even be well-known personage like the 3rd President of the U.S.A. Besides writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson famously introduced French fries, ice cream, and Mac ‘n’ Cheese after returning from his five-year stint (1784-89) in France. He was also known to have cultivated and promoted the then very unpopular tomatoes, making them a success in America. Today almost every American kitchen has a bottle of ketchup. We are all familiar with American fast-food, Chinese dim-sum, Japanese sushi, and many more national and ethnic foods that have travelled far beyond their original shores:
While having our meals, we may feel helpless about the conflicts, the wars and other world challenges around us because we think there is little we can do as individuals. If we were to overlay 24hrs in the earth’s history, which was formed about 4.6 billion years ago, human lineage only appeared about 5 million years ago; and modern Homo Sapiens are between 200,000 to 500,000 years old, i.e. our existence is about < 0.01% (which is about the last 6 to 9 sec) of the geologic timescale. Indeed, every one of us seems so insignificant in the big scheme of things, yet everyone has a part in it.
We can answer the call of the UN for the International Day of Friendship. We can make a conscious effort to build and celebrate friendships with people different from us, regardless of race, nation, religion, societal background, etc.: Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.
Pick up a few dandelion puffballs (each has ~150-200 seeds); blow them into the field. Out of the many, there will surely be some that will blossom into new bright dandelions, carrying our hopes for a better world!
Every step we take as individuals shall steer humanity into its next chapter, just like every fraction of mini-second moves the clock’s hands to the 24th hour! Leverage the soft-diplomacy power such as our love for foods, sports, or hobbies we find fit to forge a cross-cultural friendship – one person and one step at a time.
Your stories, my stories and ALL OUR stories together make up the canvas of humanity!
“Have fun spreading the friendship puffballs in making the world a better place!”