I was in one of those corporate meetings today, a luncheon. Because I travel a lot and have many of these kinds of meetings, I end up eating a lot of chicken. When I picked up my plate at the buffet and glanced down the line at our options, I silently said a few unkind words about chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes. In the last year I have probably had this meal at least one hundred times, so to see it again was more than disappointing.
It makes me wonder if every banquet chef or meal planner has a surplus of chicken to contend with each week. Do they have to serve chicken so many times a month in order to keep up some sort of certification? Where is the imagination? Where is the variety? Where is the ability to do something different with chicken other than bake it? Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken. Somehow though this combination has gotten all too old. I am too young to be tired of this meal.
As I was driving home from the luncheon it was raining. I saw a mother with four children carrying their groceries back home. They were soaking wet and entered their apartment with smiles and relief. That moment instantly changed my perspective. I felt so spoiled and selfish I was ashamed. There are people all over the world who would savor a meal of chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes. I had a full stomach, a dry coat, and was complaining. The frequency of a meal prepared by someone else with the same selections is a blessing not a curse. I didn’t have to raise the chicken, kill it, pluck it, cook it and then clean it all up. All I had to do was sit and eat it while taking with other people eating chicken.
As I drove home in the rain I was reminded that all too often the familiar blessings in life get ignored. Hot food, a safe place to sleep, people who love us, and something worthwhile to do come easily for too many of us. We forget all the effort, work and time we have spent building the life we now live. We forget that not everyone has our life, our ease, our options. We forget that for other people our boring is their luxury. Even if that means eating over a hundred meals of chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes…we still need to be thankful, grateful, and keep a clear perspective about what are our REAL problems. If this is all I have to complain about then I am blessed beyond what I deserve. So bring on the baked chicken and I’ll keep eating it.