For those of you who've followed this blog for any time, you already know that I don't much talk about cooking. That is to say, I'm not a "how-to" kinda gal. At least not in the cooking department. Which is kind of odd, considering how much I love to cook...AND eat. If you've read more than a few of my offerings, you DO know that I love food. I'm Italiana, for pete's sake! Do you know any Italians who don't (love food)?
I was at a gathering yesterday where the very lovely hostess had an equally lovely spread of goodies laid out for all those in attendance. It wasn't anything fancy, but all of it was delicious and greatly appreciated by those in attendance. Whilst we were sitting 'round the table, munching and chatting, someone asked me why I wasn't sharing my knowledge (of cooking) as a business. The hostess had made a comment about how good I was "in the kitchen" and since we were all brainstorming at the moment, the question was asked in the name of ....shall we say, "financial improvement".
All eyes were on me as they waited for my response. I had a mouthful of chicken at that moment, so it gave me a good reason to pause before I responded. Most of those present know that I was in the restaurant business for most of my life. What they don't know is why I got out. Not wanting to get into all that, I finally answered (after chewing and swallowing), "Been there, done that. I prefer to cook for the joy of it now. I have no adversity to teaching people how to cook, but I have no desire to make it my mainstay."
This, of course, led to a lot of other questions, suggestions, etc. ad nauseam. I listened for as long as I could stand it, and then excused myself from the table. Truth be told, they had my head spinning. I knew they were just trying to "help". But I wasn't in the mood to explain or justify why or what I am or am not doing. I walked out into the front yard for a bit, cleared my head, and headed back out to the patio.
It was at that precise moment when one of the children came up and asked, "Miss Camille, do you think you could teach me how to cook? I love to cook but my mom isn't so good at it and I don't have anyone to teach me."
Well. Lemme tell ya...if there's anything I cannott dismiss, it is the sincere request of a child. I'm a sucker for kids. 'Specially kids who want to expand their talent. Just can't say no.
We made a date for her to come over next week. I told her mom what she'd need to bring with her and asked that she (the mom) make plans to be elsewhere while we had our "lesson". I know all too well the distractions that parents can cause...and I don't much care for the majority of said distractions. I sure don't need some mama going off about letting her kid hold a knife. And more often than not, those same parents are the reason why kids are so stiff with learning. No thanks.
The child was giddy with excitement as we said our goodbyes and I headed for my truck. She gave me a giant hug and a bigger thank-you...as I headed out the door.
By the time I got home, I was pretty giddy too. I thought about how much I could impact a child's life with the sharing of such knowledge. I thought about how much fun it will be to watch her face as she places the food on a plate and serves it to her mom and brothers. (I will show her about "presentation" so when she brings her containers full of food home, she can serve her family.) I thought about how excited I was the first time my mom let me cook dinner from start to finish...and the many "ooohs" and "aaahhhs" I got for my labors. I was grinning like a lunatic when I pulled into my driveway.
Which leads us back to where we started: the JoyZ of sharing what we know.
There is something innately satisfying about sharing knowledge. It doesn't really matter what the topic of said knowledge is. It could be cooking, or gardening, or caring for critters, or moving past limiting beliefs or any other thing you can think of. But if you happen to have a handle on any such topic(s) and you are willing to share that knowledge, you are, in essence, making ripples. Even if you only share with one person, that knowledge is going to spread....and spread...and spread. Kinda the whole "pay it forward" thang. (If you've never seen the movie, it goes like this: you do something for three people. You ask that they do the same for three more...and they ask the same. Pretty soon, those three people have affected thousands of people all over the planet. And all YOU did was help THREE PEOPLE.) The math is staggering. As is the affect. It is a theory that holds great potential for a world that wants us to believe we are doomed to an ugly end. I ain't buying it (the ugly end, that is). I believe in the power of ONE. And I believe that if we were all to share just a smidgen of what we have learned with those beautiful young (and not-so-young!) souls who wish to expand, we will have made a difference that goes well beyond what we can even imagine.