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Going Beyond Solidarity

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What happened on Friday, November 13th, 2015 was one of many incidents that have wreaked havoc on our world. It was an attack on the innocent and on human decency. Many of us feel anger, grief and pain in our hearts over what happened in Paris and Beirut and for those who have been attacked around the world.

Equally, many of us feel powerless, not knowing what we can or should do.

The anger, grief and questioning hit me hard. And while the empathy remains, I feel moved to do more than just carry on this time. I find myself on the other side of the pain with a sense of responsibility; to do something to help and live absolutely fully and without fear.

As we move into the holidays, we enter a time that is meant for joy and celebration of the abundance that we have. For so many of us, we are surrounded by love, friends, extraordinary lives and un-paramount freedoms. These are things we often take for granted – but in this time, when at any moment this can be taken away, we are reminded to cherish every moment.

The Feast team chose the theme of “Plenty” for our upcoming Worldwide dinner to recognize all that we have in resources and talent, to explore our hunger and where it comes from, and to find what we need to actually feel fulfilled. We set out to support each other in experiencing and achieving what The Feast is all about: Living Fully.

But in the wake of what happened on Friday, this theme presents a pressing call. It is equally about exploring lack, hunger and ensuring that all people share in our sense of plenty – particularly those who have the least.

So much of what fuels violence is having nothing – and therefore having nothing to lose. Droughts have taken away the ability to grow food, joblessness has caused instability, instability has caused anger and hopelessness; the barren soil in which fear and the darker side of humanity have taken root.

I realize that the issues affecting our world are great, and the resolution more complex than what I’m writing here. But I believe the root is in ensuring that all people have enough.  

These are the bombs with which we fight Da’esh and extremism around the world. Give people full lives as we grow a garden so thick that no weeds can take root.

In this way, it is our imperative to share our abundance in whatever way we can, doing our part to fill the hunger of those left wanting and fostering plenty for all people. In fact, in today’s ever more connected world, the only thing that can ensure our own safety and pursuit of fulfillment is that we ensure that of others.

So as we invite people to host dinners on this theme of Plenty, we offer a place to take action around what is happening in our world: directly or indirectly.

At each dinner, share in all that you have and be grateful. Support each other and the amazing work you do and people you want to be. But also stand up for those who are in want and champion them at your table.

Let’s explore what we can do to support sustainable livelihoods, security, or connection. Let’s offer our help in time, resources, or friendship to those doing work on the ground – the innovators, the NGOs, the mothers and leaders, whoever they are. And let’s hold those in want with us as we carry forward, with unwavering dedication to living our lives to the fullest extent possible.

It is the very things we stand for that will put an end to this violence. Strong community, strong meaning and purpose, strong livelihoods and most importantly, love.

Let us do this with the same fierce swiftness with which we fight, because the world needs us now.

 

Author

Jerri Chou, Founder, The Feast