Are We Just Going to Talk About It Again?

December 21, 2023

For some of us, the season of ‘peace on earth’ and ‘goodwill to all’ are little clichés that get written on Christmas cards and social media posts. Once the tinsel gets pulled from the tree and the lights and ornaments packaged up, it’s back to business as usual with division, disagreements and less than ‘goodwill to all.’

But what if, in 2024, we decided that peace and goodwill were things to strive for; something to create in our families, communities and beyond?

Look, I live in the real world and there’s a lot to be upset about. We seem to have become a nation of ‘them’ and ‘us,’ with both sides of any discussion finding us with heels dug in, arms crossed across our chests, refusing to even hear another view…on anything.

I’m not just talking politics either. Rage, misbehaving on flights, rudeness, abuse of people in the service business all seem to be the order of the day.  Just read or watch news and you’ll see that fear is the currency that is banked on to keep us glued to whatever screen we prefer.

So politics aside, what are we all so angry about? I can only speak from my own perspective; I can’t comment on other people’s life satisfaction. My husband and I have worked our butts off (and still do) to create a business that serves the mission we both love passionately. We want, more than anything, to leave the world a little better than how we found it. We do that in our lives and in our work, as much as we can, as well as we can. (And yes, I do fly for work and torture myself over its footprint, but it has opened a global family to us and other people and changes our world view each and every day.)

I work as a chef educator, both on television and in culinary school. I love my work and take great pains to teach, write and post in positive ways that people can take in and feel because I am not lecturing or scolding. I think that food is sexy, delicious and brings us together.

I also choose a vegan lifestyle and that poses serious issues for some people. I have written about this before, but honestly, I am shocked to my core when people take serious issue with my food posts. Are we so volatile now, so angry that a post about cookies can send us into a tailspin?

Having been called every name in the book (and some I didn’t know existed, like libtard…what is that?), I wish I could say that I am getting tougher. I don’t want to be tough. I want to pass along what I know and have learned; I want to share my experiences when I travel for the sheer joy of it; I want to share my discoveries in the kitchen (which happen every day, even after all these years of cooking). I want to, as my hero, Arnold often says, create positivity on the internet. I want to spread love, joy, wellness and food. It’s a pretty benign wish, I think.

So to be told to die or that I am poison is waaaaaaaay beyond shocking to my system (and I hope it always is shocking to my system).

I guess the point of this rambling blog is that my fondest wish for all of us for 2024 is that we can hold onto the whole ‘peace on earth’ and ‘good will toward all’ forever in our hearts and put it into action each and every day.

Arnold recently wrote that being kind is sort of selfish in a way because when you do a kindness or serve another person, they benefit of course, but the real beneficiary is you. You feel full, open, happy and in harmony with the world around you.

So I will end by saying that the world can be cruel; people can be simply awful. Let’s vow…together…to contribute only light to the world because with enough illumination, we can rid the world of the shadows of hate and live in peace.

How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?