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Thanksgiving. In practice.

November 23, 2008 by Joan Nova in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

This post is about a different kind of food…it’s food for thought.

I’ve come to learn in the past few months that food bloggers are a very generous lot. They are supportive of each other and, more importantly, they take on causes. They urge readers to support local farmers, sustainable agriculture, local and global food charities to feed the hungry, etc. They are also not above commenting on social and political issues. Earlier this month, in between posts offering up spaghetti carbonara or grandma’s goulash, there were messages of urgency to get out and vote. Afterwards, there were celebrations and many rushed to make victory cupcakes and chili for President-Elect Obama! It was funny…and sweet.

I recently was contacted by Ivy of Kopiaste about a new social media network she and 2 other food bloggers have created to raise funds and awareness about World Famine called Blogger Aid. It is still in its fledgling stage but I am committing to be part of it so you will be seeing more info in the coming weeks — and, especially, in early 2009 when I launch a new series on my blog regarding traveling around the world (with stops for traditional meals in each destination, of course.) Hope that spikes your interest!

Meantime, this morning, I was struck by a post from Dine & Dish called “Acts of Kindness” and I wanted to pass it on to my readers as food for thought. In this time of  economic hardship and fiscal uncertainty…and, particularly, at this time of the year when we are/were accustomed to celebrating abundantly with lavish holiday dinners and generous gifts, so many people are despondent or near to it. No matter how tight your belt strap, there are many needier. There never was a greater time to practice random acts of kindness. Imagine the delight and the lift to someone’s psyche that your act will provide. 

You and your family may already do something charitable in the spirit of the season, but a random act of kindness is more spur of the moment…as Kristen suggests, “pay for someone’s lunch or buy something off someone’s wish list on Amazon and have it sent. You could turn another person’s bad day around.” If you visit her blog, you’ll see many reader comments about how they practice random acts of kindness. It doesn’t have to be monetary…it could be community volunteering, raking a neighbor’s lawn, or sending Christmas cards to servicemen*.

I’m sure if you just look around while out and about, living and performing your daily routine, you’ll find some way to bestow a random act of kindness. Pay a toll for the car behind you especially if it’s old, beat up and packed with kids; look at the person behind you on the express line (only 10 items) in the supermarket…maybe he or she could use a lift. I’m sure once we open our eyes, we’ll see lots of opportunities.

While we all like to think we live our lives with kindness, I challenge everyone to practice as many random acts of kindness from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Who knows? Maybe it’ll stick through 2009 and beyond. Go out and pay it forward.

*A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Caitlin (see bride run) says:

    hey! glad i found your blog. food bloggers ARE so generous…. i love it.

    a random act of kindness increase is a great goal!

  2. Ivy says:

    Hi Joan. What a post!! Shall be looking forward that you join BloggerAid and to your series of posts. If we all started from now doing an act of kindness, what a lovely world we would be living in. How right you are: “No matter how tight your belt strap, there are many needier”.

  3. Kristen says:

    I LOVE this challenge… love it. I actually just sent this idea on to my extended family and have challenged them to practice AOK and report back at our family Christmas in January. What a great idea!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Bellini Valli says:

    Thank you for your commitment to our Bloggeraid inititiative Joan. It look like there are many exciting things happening at Foodalogue in the upcoming year:D

  5. giz says:

    I’m so grateful that you’re part of our group. It’s all attitude isn’t it? It really does the heart good, no matter what our circumstances, to be able to share and make a difference in someone’s life.

  6. Brens@Flanboyant Eats says:

    Joan, you’ve traveled so u know how critical world hunger awareness. it’s so unfortunate that we as Americans, I feel, take what we have as granted gifts. I’ve contacted Ivy about doing something with their cause as well.

    thanks for sharing the post.

  7. Robin Sue says:

    Joan- very sweet and thoughful post. I think it is good advice to look for opportunities to be kind. I will keep my eyes open and this is a good lesson for my children as well. Thanks!

  8. ARLENE says:

    Joan, it’s been a long while since I thought of that wonderful little book, RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. Some of my staff and I enjoyed participating in early morning book clubs. When we read this gem, we discussed how we could instill in our student population the habit of giving. I think the idea of Blogger Aid is a wonderful one and I will read more about it. My second home is on the west coast of Florida; care to suggest some of your favorite restaurants there?

  9. Ivy says:

    There’s an award for you on my blog.

  10. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    These ideas, of course, are not new — but it’s wonderful to see food bloggers embracing this in a new way. There’s a natural tie-in between food blogging and hunger relief, and those of us who’ve been working in the hunger relief arena for years and have now moved into food blogging are excited by the possibilities. We can be a powerful force for change.

  11. Núria says:

    Bloggers’ good and warm heart is something I also have discovered since I started blogging.

    BloggerAid is a fantastic idea and we should all join it and help :D. Ivy, Val and Giz are doing a great job!!!

    Great post, Joan!

  12. vanpham says:

    Thanks for great post. I am looking forward to your upcoming posts.

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