Extreme Kindness

Extreme Kindness

The Poor Cilantro

Lately I’ve been coming home, after doing-good in some new locale, to a fridge full of expired edibles. Tomatoes as supple as sponge cake. Carrots shriveled, incapable of mustering a healthy *SNAP* when nibbled. Cheese, lovely just a few days before, now looking like the surface of some distant, asteroid pummeled moon. And the poor cilantro!

If I wasn’t such a food freak, it probably wouldn’t bother me. But I adore food and perhaps more than the finished product, I love the ingredients. The other day I made my roommate pause his video game so we could marvel at what I figured was a perfect bell pepper. It’s walls were firm, the skin was a lustrous hot-coal-red and the stem was leaping out with green confidence, like a single shock of hair on a happy newborn. Dusty and sweet it smelled.

We beheld the vegetable in awe.

So it’s with a heavy heart I return home to find a lackluster pepper with sunken cheeks, shored-up in my crisper. I feel guilt. It’s like visiting a grandparent at the rest home and finding they’ve aged faster than you’d expected, that you missed them in their prime. That you were neglectful.

And it’s true: humans do have a best-before date. Buts it’s a date that’s reset each time you make the effort to connect and show love. True friendships require constant kindnesses. It’s important to hold loved ones up, to admire them and marvel at your luck for having them in your life, for they are the ingredients of a truly happy life.

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One Response to “The Poor Cilantro”

  1. Jen Says:
    April 27th, 2006 at 11:56 am

    It’s true that often times we take the people who are important to us for granted; we assume they will always be there and we procrastinate doing that ‘thing’ for them – there is, afterall, always tomorrow, and today there are just things that need to get done!

    One day, though, we wake up with the full intent of finally getting around to that thing for this person and we find that that person is no longer there. The relationship has shriveled to a point where it is no longer recognizable to us – it isn’t at all what it was in its prime.

    We are sad – how did we let this happen? – and we swear we will not let it happen again. Yet we do. All the time. We are a culture of people who expect everything to be simple, require little effort, and as often as possible be done for us: microwavable meals, emails to our blackberry, someone else will clean that up. How (and more importantly, why) did we let ourselves degenerate to this sorry state?

    It’s time for a culture change. We need to be attentive of everyone and everything we surround ourselves with. It is time to take better care of the people that are important to us … because we expect them to do the same for us. We need to stop expecting others to do it for us, and do it for them.

    When did we forget to do unto others as we would have them do unto us??

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