Avoiding the ‘c’ word PART TWO

You could of course be forgiven for thinking that ‘c’ time is nothing to do with giving at all. It’s all about the food. It’s all about having the biggest blow out imaginable and feeling sick before you leave the table and then eating more.  I have some issues with this as well (it may not surprise you to hear) and they start with the appropriateness of ‘feasting’ in the modern world.  We have forgotten that food is fuel. Food is now aspirational and as such a perfect adjunct to the unholy ‘c’ trinity.

I don’t like shopping at the best of times. I do it for food (as infrequently as possible since I grow as much as I can myself) but since I don’t keep a cow, I do have to pay rather too regular visits to the emporiums of food heaven.  Other shops I can largely avoid, but food shopping is something that I’ve yet not managed to conquer. But when ‘c’ season begins, I become increasingly uncomfortable. This year, so uncomfortable that I determined to avoid them from the first jingling santa sounds. I did one big stock up mid November and my goal is to avoid large food stores till January.  It’s the only way for me.

While the shops are generally full of too many choices (all of which only serve to remind me how few choices many other people have), come the ‘c’ season they are simply filled with things to make you ‘want’ them. Things you would never otherwise think of and things you certainly don’t need –either to give or be given – but which just beg you to spend money on them. Things which were probably often made by people for whom the ‘C’ word is just another part of the misery of their lives.  Things and food. And more things. And more food. And…  I’m sorry, I find it obscene. The only time I can stand supermarkets is when they have a day where they ask you to buy food for food banks and donate it. They should do this every day.  Of course they should be giving their own out of date stuff away too, but it’s good for us to have the opportunity to give directly.  It’s not so easy to just buy some food and give it to a ‘poor’ person on the street. Though a man I’m proud to call my pal Mark Frankland runs a foodbank as part of his charity in Dumfries and I’m sure he’d be glad of donations.  Direct action is always better than indirect action.

While we’re on the food gravy train, recently, I watched ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here.’ Food was a big issue. They kept going on about how awful it was to be living (partly) on beans and rice. No one seemed moved to use the opportunity to point out that many people live like this (or worse) every day of their lives. For many people rice, or beans, or maize porridge is their only food. And no one seemed to address the question: How can we sit down at ‘c’ dinner and feast while millions of people are starving? Sorry, make that starving unnecessarily. It’s simple. I can’t. I don’t. And I won’t.  I know that this makes me a total killjoy to my culture. I’m not even sorry about it. I can’t believe how obsessed people are with food these days. The idea that we should gorge ourselves stupid on ‘tasty treats’ or luxury items as a gift to ourselves for putting up with the crap world we live in seems to be more prevalent.  But the realisation that we’re all partially responsible for the world being so crap in the first place seems to escape us.

Why do we need to reward ourselves? And why with food? Why do we all need to be part of aspirational living?  Why do we aspire to be able to go beyond need into luxury? One of my very first online ‘spats’ happened in a forum many years back where someone suggested that ‘we all need a bit of luxury now and again.’ I think it was in the context of taking a holiday to Disneyworld or some such. I pointed out that we NEVER NEED luxury. I wasn’t invited back. I didn’t care. Now this is my blog. And you have the choice not to come back if I’m offending you. I won’t care. If my thoughts on the ‘c’ word offend you, you’re unlikely to want to read anything else I write. So do yourself a favour. Don’t. Because for me, writing is creative communication. And I try to keep it to things that I feel have meaning and/or matter.  You want trivia, go elsewhere.  I believe there are a number of places making a very nice living from the twitbook style of life.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.  Food is fuel not part of an aspirational lifestyle. Why should some of us be filling ourselves with the highest quality fuel and leaving others without the basics?  We need to redress the balance between want and need. 

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About callyphillips
Writer.

2 Responses to Avoiding the ‘c’ word PART TWO

  1. Julia Jones says:

    hell – I read this while eating my lunch! (It was leftovers but very tasty) One good thing of F’s bad back (I think)is that all food shopping is now done online or at the village post office / general stores. Bills and wastage dramatically reduced …

  2. Steven says:

    True giving, that is giving from the heart is an experience we have long forgotten.

    Try this simple experiment – giving cash, any amount you choose, but give it from the heart to the right person…you will find that true giving only comes momentarily. The right moment comes inspirationally and it is never planned. True giving naturally happens when the recipient is ready to receive and when your heart is ready to give. This connection comes only momentarily, miss this and the giving becomes no more than a common practice.

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