• Caroline Ruivo

Breaking bread

In elementary school our class stayed at a wellness retreat that included one night's accommodation. When it was time for dinner, the hosts asked each of us to place our hand into a basket and reach for a shredded piece of paper that was either red or blue.

None of us knew what these colours represented, but the hosts directed all of those who had a blue paper to stand against the wall and those with a red paper to sit at the dinner table. I gripped the blue in my hands.

Well, it turned out that those who had chosen the red piece of paper were the first to be served dinner while the rest of us waited. I remember standing with the rest of the blue squad as the "red winners" became bread-winners.

They were breaking bread with each other, laughing, and feasting on a plate of chicken with mashed potatoes. The food smelled so good that even our nostrils were salivating. The hosts wanted to teach those who were standing against the wall what it felt like to be poor.

I am not sure what the red group learned from this experiment (lol), but I never forgot that awful feeling of not being able to eat when I was so hungry. When the hosts finally served the rest of us dinner, the entire blue group made a nose dive for the fresh bread. We appreciated our meals so much more because we knew what it felt like to have nothing.

Reflection Question: Do you remember when you wanted what you currently have?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska