Be Sure To Eat Your Greens

Sometimes, when I ask people, “How are you?” they answer, “It’s Monday!” I interpret that to mean the week is beginning and the weekend is far away, so they can only be so happy. At mid-week, there is a lilt of optimism in their response. “Well, at least it’s Wednesday,” they chortle. The Friday answer is obvious. “It’s Friday!” The weekend lies ahead. We even thank God for that day. One-liners like, “We made it through another one,” are common. I have to wonder–do we really want to dread and shove five days aside every week to get to where there are just two? It seems like an awfully depressing way to spend a week, let alone a life.

Giving Thanks

My father-in-law is from Italy, and was raised during some tough times. Working every day wasn’t guaranteed. In fact, for the first three or four years of my marriage, he asked me the same question every Sunday toward the end of our family meal. “Working tomorrow, Ron?” “Yes, sir,” I answered. He would smile and look around the table. “Good, good, that’s good to hear, huh?” Where he was raised, a man who went to work on Monday was fortunate. Many times he’s told the grandchildren stories of hiding under tables during air raids in France (where he also spent much of his childhood), and how he and his father tore into the farmers’ fields at night to take enough apples, oranges and grapes to feed his brothers, sisters and cousins. Few had money or even any skills to use in trade for food. Once in a while there was some work that earned a little pay, and everyone ate better that week. If someone said, “Working tomorrow?” and the answer was yes, it was a moment of pride and thanksgiving, certainly not regret.

Though most overstuffed Americans can’t even begin to understand what real hunger feels like, those of us gainfully employed should remind ourselves now and then how blessed we really are.

Love Living

Recently, my 11-year-old and I walked into the neighborhood pet store. An older gentleman was buying dog food and regarded us with a nod as we stood in line. My son, who knows the owner very well, began telling him how quickly his puppy had grown, gaining more than 80 pounds this year alone. With Sam’s expressive eyes and animated gestures, the tale of the monstrous dog was growing even faster than the dog. I noticed the older gentleman chuckling to himself as Sam waved his arms about, grinning with satisfaction at the opportunity to brag about his dog. The man paid for his items, and as he turned to leave, patted me on the arm. “God bless him,” he said. I could see he meant so much more. Bless Sam’s youth, his enthusiasm, his passion, his love for animals. Aah, to be that age again …

I’m sure if that fellow had been given the opportunity to have all those Monday through Fridays back that so many wish away, he’d have done so in a New York minute.

Food For Thought

Maybe we need labels like those required on packaging–the ones that indicate the caloric value as well as the nutritional standards of products.

Those labels are supposed to make it clear what you can get from what’s inside. Perhaps we should have labels on us so that others can consider what we think of ourselves and what we have to offer.

My label, read by my wife, might be as follows:

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