This I Believe

Michael - Vista, California
Entered on May 30, 2007

I believe in going to eat lunch with friends and not caring about who picks up the bill; close friends, distant friends, soon-to-be-friends, and the guy from your English class that you really haven’t talked to yet. The kinds of discussions that take place over a luncheon special at a local restaurant are priceless. I can’t precisely name it but a bond is formed between people when they are enjoying a good meal.

My friends and I often enjoy Chipotle burritos and Arnold Palmers whenever we are presented with the opportunity. Most days only two or three out of five or six of us will have money, so we logically cover for one and another. It is not about getting the money reimbursed, it’s a lesson in humanity. The way I see it is one day I may have money, the next I may not and it is my duty to back up those that do not have money whenever I am able. Does it matter if I may never be paid back? No, the moral lies elsewhere: to feed a friend when they are hungry is payment enough. We have all experienced that kind of unsettling hunger and all we needed was maybe two or three bucks for a sandwich. Feed someone and they will instantly become a friend.

Once at the table, with the prospect of a full belly in front of us, our minds begin to mingle. Some of the discussion is teenage nonsense such as what new movie is coming out and what a wentch a teacher can be, but every so often we will strike gold. The topic of Stalin came up and we immediately spewed the facts and ideas that an honors education provides: came to power after Lenin, Five-Year Plans, World War Two, Cold War. As the discussion rumbled on we began to cast our own thoughts on Stalin’s regime. Mind you, friends that enjoy Chipotle burritos are as diverse as they come because our unifying theme is that we are hungry, a very common trait. Thus, we generally are not sucked into groupthink hysteria but rather challenge each others thoughts and broaden our minds. We discussed how Stalin was no more a communist than Mussolini and how democracy is not the opposite of communism (using literal definitions, capitalism is the opposite of communism). Five teens can change the dry historical facts presented before them into new concepts and idea on the world, given the right environment. Imagine what adults could do for the community if they sat down to a good lunch. What about senators and representatives? What if world leaders sat down at a deli to discuss the world as normal, hungry individuals?

It is my belief that world peace will be accomplished over a Chipotle burrito and an Arnold Palmer on the side.