Act Heroically

I absolutely love Chinese food.  Growing up, Tuesday nights were family dinner night and every Tuesday we went out to our favorite Chinese food restaurant.  From the time I was 4 until I was 18 I counted the same 54 flags that decorated the ceiling of our restaurant.  To this day I wonder if they have the same, dusty flags hanging over the heads of their customers.

While I have always gobbled up sweet and sour chicken (although recently with my move to the south it has become sweet and sour shrimp, and is absolutely wonderful) and have a great fondness for rice, the fortune cookie has always been my favorite part of the meal.  A slightly sweet ender that created a well-rounded meal out of mostly fried and greasy food.

On the other side it teaches you how to say ‘cake’ in Chinese.  Definitely the first thing I will ask for the next time I find myself in Shanghai.

Last night after a second helping of sweet and sour shrimp I dug into the carry out bag to retrieve the little plastic-wrapped morsel I had been thinking about for the majority of the meal.  Before I knew it, the wrapper had joined the rest of the take-away and the cookie was cracked and in my mouth, spreading its sweet and yummy goodness around my taste buds.

The cookie was long gone before I even got a look at the fortune, something I simply can’t find it in myself to be ashamed about.  It was a simple and straightforward fortune, something that has actually been a bit unusual in my fortune cookies lately (yes, I am a Chinese food fiend).  I unfolded the little strip of paper and read:

Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes.  -Fortune cookie, 2012

Not the most profound fortune I’ve ever seen.  Chinese food aficionados know that if you eat fortune cookies long enough, you will come across a fortune that inspires an epiphany, not unlike the brilliant enlightenment that can be found at 4 am at the bottom of a bottle of Jack.

As I was saying, not the most profound cookie, but still a powerful statement.  It’s something I think people forget sometimes.  I know I do.  We all have our moments, our decisions, or times of life where things were hard, overwhelming, or simply awful.  Sometimes we cave, bend under pressure.  We grieve, we cry, we bow our heads and accept whatever is happening to us as something unchangeable and inevitable.  Our bad fortune is immutable and never ending so we decide to simply grit our teeth and bear it.

And sometimes we rise up.  We face that boss who just laid us off, that cheating spouse, the sick child, the beggar asking for food or the relative desperately needing a helping hand; we face these difficulties head on.  We make a difference, not only in our lives but the lives of others.  We make the best of the time that we have.

Regardless of how we respond, life moves on, so act heroically.  Take the difficult times and know they will pass.  Make the best of it, both for yourself and everyone whose life you touch.

That is what I aim to accomplish with this project and fundraiser, and I hope to bring a whole lot of people with me.

Planting kale during drip irrigation training in the Rita Rose Food Security Garden.

We have the opportunity to impact the lives of 10,000 people with this money, bringing clean water and a food garden to an entire community in Kenya.  This isn’t just food aid that will feed people for a month, this is a whole garden that will help feed the community for years.  This will not only affect the current people in the community, it will impact the lives of their children and their grandchildren.  It will give generations of Kenyans hope and the opportunity to change their lives.

I feel so blessed to have the chance to make such an impact on the world, and I want nothing more than to give other people the opportunity to join me.  Please donate.  Any amount helps us on the way to our goal.  Just $20 gives 10 people the ability to grow their own food.

And tell everyone you know!  Spread the word!  Like us on Facebook!  If we each told 5 people we know, eventually the whole world would know about the work we will accomplish.

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