The other weekend, Holly and I got together with some of our good friends and took the time to sit around a meal (composed of food from each of our unique cultural backgrounds).
It was a diverse group...
John is from Colombia, Renata from Brazil; Holly is from Canada, and Christian moved to the US from the Philippines. And I am of Italian heritage and grew up in Pittsburgh.
It was a great time. We had the chance to share about our unique cultures, experiences, and memories. And the food really seemed to play an important role in bringing us back to our roots as well as bringing us together in conversation.
…Specifically, some cookies which I’m now going to tell you about…
I recently found this Italian bakery which sells the same cookies that my grandmother and Great Aunt Zizi used to make when I was a kid.
As soon as I bit into this cookie, memories flooded my mind – remembering that taste and smell, and all the occasions associated with it.
…And it was also interesting to discover that as a group of friends (from different cultural backgrounds), we each had very similar stories and traditions all around some simple foods.
There were Brazilian cookies, Italian cookies, coffee from Colombia... We were taken back to different times and places in our lives, by simply enjoying a bite of a cookie.
And more beautifully, we were able to share that memory and experience it with one another.
…And it really got me thinking: we are much more similar than we are different.
In our society today, there seems to be a big push to divide. It’s so easy to point out our differences and view them in a negative light.
… But what if we learned to embrace our unique cultural backgrounds and took the time to listen to one another’s stories and to discover our commonalities… and to find unity rather than division?
You’d be amazed at how much commonality you can find in a cookie.
Every day, people are asking and searching for ways we can learn to get along…
Well, as you’ve probably realized, we can’t rely on the government or the media to bring us together.
Maybe the answer is as simple as having some cookies with some people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Because the truth is, we’re more alike than we are different.
Maybe it starts with some cookies.