I have a game I play when I’m having a meal by myself. It’s called “I am grateful for…” and it involves naming and thanking everyone and everything involved in getting the food to me. Say, I’m eating a hamburger. The game goes something like this…
Thanks for the:
- sun, the rain, and the soil that the plants and animals need to grow.
- farmer/rancher that grew the wheat, the lettuce the tomatoes, and the beef and the people who made the cheese.
- scientists who helped develop the strains of each plant and animal that grows best and most efficiently
- teachers, extension staff, and others who help farmers and ranchers solve problems so they can keep on growing food for all of us
- people in towns and big cities whose tax dollars support financial and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers
- everyone who harvests the meat and veggies, the bakers of buns, washers of veggies, the butchers
- highway crews, architects, asphalt producers, and everyone who pays to build safe roads to get the food from the farmer/rancher to the grocery store
- all those folks doing the logistics to purchase the right stuff at the right time and coordinate shipping so the food arrives fresh and healthy in the store
- stockers, the packaging folks, everyone who thought up the good ways to package things, and everyone who works at the grocery store
- people who teach reading, writing, and arithmetic making it possible for all these other people to do their jobs, plus the people who work to pay the taxes so we can have schools, and the people that build the schools, and the people who make the construction materials for the schools, and….
The list can go on and on because for each item on the list I can think of many more people to thank. The hamburger is eaten long before the list is finished.
The point is this: We live within a web of coordination and cooperation and everyone has a part to play in our mutual survival. It’s not a new idea. Heck, every religion on the planet preaches it in one way or another. (Check out the Golden Rule project for examples.) But people aren’t always fun to be around, and that can cause us to forget, complain, or be unkind. Lately, there seems to be a lot of that around. So I’m doing my best in my life, and with On Pasture to remind myself and others, “We’re all in this together.”
Thanks for reading,