Lesson learned in Italy

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-11-28-23-amI’ve posted a number of dishes from Italy this past week, ranging from seafood over pasta (left) to a handmade tiramisu birthday cake. What I haven’t posted however is the photo of the guy behind it all, and that’s because my camera storage was somehow erased before entering the states. (This is what happens when you wait four years to get an upgrade and use your phone furiously, as my mother says).

Anyway, he was the chef kind enough to cook for my family in Sant’agata for the week we were there. Not only were we lucky enough to have enjoyed the most delicious, handcrafted meals at least (I’ve) ever had in my life, we were also lucky to have had the chance to meet this genuine, kind person.

After dinner on our last night, we said our goodbyes. we then drowned him in some pretty well deserved compliments, to which he replied with more than just a thank you.

He said, “There was a fire in the jungle, which burned beside where a lion and a fly were sleeping. When they smelled the fire, the fly flew to the nearest stream for water, and poured it onto the flames. The lion asked, “What are you doing?” and the fly replied, “I’m doing my part.”

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-11-33-57-am

Pretty heavy for a friday night, but so was the red wine I drank along with dinner. So while he was being modest about his knack for producing actual heaven on dinner plates, what he was saying really struck a chord with me.

I’m constantly wondering if I’m doing enough in terms of progressing my career, volunteering, or just getting to know the community I live in. I can hardly sit on the couch for longer than five minutes without getting up to do something, and sometimes I take on too much. It’s unrealistic to try and tame an entire fire in the jungle alone, but there’s a certain pressure you feel living in a concrete one. So for now, I’m taking comfort in feeling that I’m doing my part by balancing the role I’m taking to help myself, and the role I’m taking to help out other people. For volunteering opportunities in the city, visit nyc service.