This I Believe

Leia - Peoria, Illinois
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in food.

I believe that food can be more than just physical nourishment. Whenever someone I know is sick, I try to bring them something to make them feel better. Sometimes it is chicken noodle soup; sometimes it is tomato soup with goldfish crackers. No matter what it is, it is more than just something to sustain their physical health. I am not just giving them food. I am giving them support, a friend, someone that cares about them. Even if my small offering of food does not actually help their body heal, I can help them feel better emotionally. Sometimes, I think this is better.

I believe in the power of food. While a box of chocolates obviously says “I love you” other food can give similarly important messages. I like to cook, and I like to feed people. On a random Tuesday, my chicken quesadillas say “Yes, we will make it to Friday.” When someone has a really bad day, my lasagna says “I understand.” When one of my friends got a great internship for the summer, my buffalo wings at the party said “We are so proud of you.” Food can give so many different messages, and it speaks to all people.

I believe that food can make two very different people speak the same language. When I am trying to teach math to my third grade students, food can be the great equalizer. Many of my students have no desire to learn what “5 x 7” equals, but if I say “You have five bags of candy with seven pieces of candy in them,” then I get 24 hands in the air faster than I could tell them what kind of candy. We learn fractions by making trail mix. We learn division by measuring out pizza slices. Food makes my students speak the same language as me, without them even knowing it.

I believe that food can bring people together. This year marked a significant change in my coursework. I, along with my fellow education majors, now must balance the regular coursework with observing and teaching in various classrooms in the area. This has diminished my personal free time to practically zero. Despite the busy schedule, I make time every week to have dinner with a group of my education friends. Not only does this guarantee that we all eat at least one decent meal a week, but it creates a time for us all to relax. Because of the food, we have a chance every week to breathe, take our minds off of our classrooms and schoolwork, and just have fun.

Food does so much more than give me calories and vitamins. It feeds my soul. It keeps me going when I get down. It motivates me. It helps me express to others how I feel. I believe that food can be one of the most powerful forms of expression. I believe in food.