It Began With a Plate
You may not know this about me, but big potlucks are not my thing. There is something about having so many foods at once and having each person take 1 spoonful that is just not appealing. I think the nurse in me doesn’t like so many hands in the food. And often I am tempted to overeat at such events and I leave feeling less than good.
Well, last November Northwest VEG had their annual Compassionate Thanksgiving. This is a potluck attended by 350 people. It is very popular and a nice way for vegans and vegetarians to come together and celebrate Thanksgiving about a week prior to the actual holiday. As a new member of the Northwest VEG Board I wanted to go help with the event and meet some of our members, so I attended.
All of the Northwest VEG’s events encourage green practices by having people bring their own dishes and utensils for eating. Rather than taking a big cafeteria tray with slots for various foods, I choose to bring one small plate. It was my way of reminding myself that just because there is all this food doesn’t mean I have to overdo it with the types of foods or the amounts. I brought some fresh-cut apples with lemon juice and cinnamon on them. As I served myself I had some of my own dish and about 6 others. I then focused on the beverage station I was volunteering at and greeting members, versus the food.
We had someone show up who didn’t have a plate. Since I was done eating I was able to wash my plate and let someone else use it. As I was handing it over to the other person, I knew they might be surprised by how small my plate was. So to make us both more comfortable, I said “yes, I guess you might say I am a minimalist.” At the time I said this, I didn’t really know what I was saying, nor did I know what minimalism really is. But, as life would have it, my journey since then has been bringing me to minimalism. To me minimalism is looking at ways to simplify and create a life that supports me. And that plate was one simple act towards this goal.