I am inspired by passionate people.
I am inspired by people who are actually making a difference.
I am way impressed with the work of Danielle Crismani (also known as DigellaBakes) the founder of Baked Relief
According to Digella:
On Monday 10 Jan 2011 I hashtagged #bakedrelief to rally support for volunteers working on Brisbane floods. It got BiG!
As the water recedes and the mud is washed away from South East Queensland & when the dust settles over Christchurch, I wonder if BakedRelief could ever become BakedDevelopment.
Let me explain.
In the circles that I mix in international development we distinguish between emergency relief and development assistance.
Emergency Relief is often the essential but short term band aid solutions, in response to an immediate crisis.
I believe Development Assistance (when done properly & effectively) is about bringing communities out of poverty, whilst promoting ecological sustainability, resilience and self reliance.
In my short terms exposure to working in international development assistance, I have come to believe that many developing communities have more to offer me, than I have to offer them.
For the time being, I am limited geographically to working in my own community, whilst I raise infant/s. I spend a lot of my time at the moment as a part-time, stay-at-home Dad.
One of my duties is to cook for both my baby and my beloved wife.
Some people love to cook. I hate it. I am not very skilled at it. I understand a great deal of the theory but I am really quite hopeless in the kitchen.
I have no attention to detail.
I have a tendency to short-cut, leave out essential ingredients or substitute ingredients.
I have no appetite. I often forget to eat. For me, eating is a chore and cooking more so.
However, my attitudes are changing.
I am trying to learn to cook. I cook to demonstrate my love for my beloved wife & child in a tangible way.
If I say that I love them, but feed them pig slop, then there is no proof of the pudding in the eating.
I love my wife. I love my child. I love my planet.
I am taking the time to think about the food that I buy, the meals that I prepare as a demonstration of that love.
It is alleged that Jesus said words to the effect:
"What father among you, if his son asks for bread, would give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead of the fish?
My daughter has not asked me for bread yet. She just screams when she is hungry or points at things and says "mummy, mummy, mummy".
My wife does not ask me for bread either. She just expects that, after a twelve hour day of vocational pursuits, I would be considerate enough to have a meal on the table, when she walks in the door.
If the food I prepare is an act of love. Then I am challenged to think about where it has come from. Who are farmers who grow the food? Do I love them?
Do I show my appreciation to those who grow, process and deliver my food? Do I even know where my food comes from?
Do I love the land? Do I love my country?
In a democratic society, every purchasing decision is a vote. Everything I buy is an exertion of my political will.
Do I support the trans-national companies or do I support family businesses? Do I support sustainable farming practices? Do I believe in fair trade?
For over a year, I have been buying a box of mixed fruit & vegetables from Food Connect, every second week. .......but Food Connect is only half the picture. I need to learn to cook.
That is where I see a need for BakedDevelopment.
By way of allegory, BakedRelief might give a man a fish so he can eat for a day.
BakedDevelopment might teach a man how to cook a fish, to demonstrate his love for his wife & child. BakedDevelopment might help a man choose a fish that is not an endangered species, so that there are still fish to eat when his daughter grows up.