Start at home . . .

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It’s amazing to read the headlines these days. Russia announces that it plans on building several nuclear plants in Iran. Rebels in Libya have captured the son of the dictator who has ruled Libya for decades, and the fall of the regime is inevitable. Wall Street tanked a few more percentage points. The European Union is on shaky ground. Unemployment is rising. Heat wave expands. Tropical storm forms in the Caribbean.

All of the above average, abnormal and shocking headlines should remind us it will take the little things to get us through these troubling times. Our communities and families will once again become the focal point of our lives. In the past few decades, we have been moving so fast as a society the things that really matter have slipped through the cracks in our drive to become bigger, better, faster. All of that changed with the current recession.

Our world must become a collection of communities again. An individual can survive when life is easy, but when the going gets tough only a community of friends can truly help someone. A friend in need can only truly be helped by another friend who extends a hand. A mother or father can bring relief to a college graduate who is struggling to find that first job.

In our lives, there comes a time when we are reminded that the love of a friend or family member can rip through any lines — race, religion, political party, wealth — we draw around us in our normal lives. Those lines don’t matter but sometimes it takes a crisis to make us see how artificial they are. The world is a big place if we think about all the problems going on; but if we look around us we will see small problems that we can solve. If we start solving the small ones close to home it will begin to make a big difference in the world.

I’ll end on a favorite quote of mine: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman.

If we become alive by helping someone else; we will witness the entire world breathe a breath of life.

The last bite…

This past week, I ate at Red Fish Grill in the French Quarter and was completely blown away. First up was a salad but it was just that, a salad. Next, was a lump crabmeat stuffed sea bass, couscous, and grilled asparagus. However, the highlight of the evening was the dessert! The options were bread pudding or double chocolate cake. Of course, I chose the cake because no one can touch my dad’s bread pudding so I don’t even waste the calories. The cake was served in a drinking cup and baked to perfection until the crust was cracked and crumbly. Then they came out with two pitchers – yes, pitchers – of hot chocolate, one white and one dark. The hot chocolate was poured over the cake until it cascaded down the sides of the cup. I give hot chocolate covered chocolate cake 5 (out of 5) crumbs!

Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.