“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”-Mitch Albom quotes
Over the holidays I watched The Food Network. I like Food Network because, until recently, no one was yelling or crying or screaming or frantic or out of control. I like Paula Deen. I like Rachel Ray and I like Gina DeLaurentis. They seem like nice people. Even Rachel, with her 30 minute meal deadline, is rarely flustered.
But lately I’ve noticed how often battle terms have entered The Food Network retinue of shows. Competition is a reigning theme on a network once defined by peaceful civility and love of others by doing the thing that most matters to many: cooking. Not competing. Cooking.
But now the simple art of cooking has turned into a big competition. The Worst Cooks in America are pitted in a brutal battle to cook for food critics within ten days of learning to boil water. Iron Chef America, held in Kitchen Stadium, presents a head to head skirmish between the best Chefs in the land.
There is a show called Cupcake Wars. I rarely envisioned those words used together. It seems rather oxymoronic.
Cooking is feeding the body as well as the soul. A good meal, served in good company has turned many a sour day into a sweet memory. Competition in cooking is fine. But I do wonder if, in the age of battles and wars, if cooks and chefs who compete do a dis-service to the main reason they prepare food: to show and spread love.
Whatever you do today, do it with peaceful purpose. Grant yourself the gentleness to simply do what you do to the best of your ability and leave the competition to roll around in the dust of life’s stadium.
Do your best and the rest is ….icing on the cake.