Optimism in the Face of Global Crisis

Global pandemics like Coronavirus COVID-19 set the entire globe reeling. With every news story reporting on the rapid-paced, exponential rates of infection and death, fear grows. National emergency tactics are enacted along with massive quarantines, closed borders, and businesses. Human contact is dissuaded by restricting group gatherings, congregations, and assemblies. Institutions of learning are moving online or closing altogether. Sporting leagues are postponing entire seasons. Entertainment has been derailed along with a complete evisceration of the tourism and hospitality industries. Nobody wants to risk going anywhere, for any reason. Few are contemplating the vast implications and effects of those decisions. 

I went to my local grocery store today to pick up a few things for me and dog food for my boys and what I found was shocking. Bare shelves, picked over and empty produce stands, and hundreds of frenzied, panicked, and in some cases, viciously greedy people. I watched as young pushed old out of the way to snatch the last bag of rice, can of soup, or box of pasta. There wasn’t a potato, onion, tomato, or zucchini to be found. Carts were overflowing and checkout lines wound through the store to the back. While I am pleased to see people thinking about cooking, the reality is, that most people are stocking up on items they may never use. Just how often do people use dried beans? 

Bright Beautiful Flowers

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” is an ancient idiom often attributed to Plato, who actually said, “our need will be the real creator.” 

Enter an incredible opportunity to reacquaint oneself with your home, with your kitchen, and with your family. 

This global crisis is sending people home, to cook for themselves, and to spend time with their families. How will we fare; us, an out-going, outward thinking society? How will we handle our quieter, more confined existence? 

I hope people turn to culinary creativity. Now is the perfect time to get in touch with your inner culinary hedonist. In times of scarcity, turn to new ingredients. Think and buy local. Eat seasonal produce. Support your local farmers and producers. Look for fresh ideas and recipes. Have you always wanted to shift to vegetarianism or veganism? Try now. Do you have a fascination with Mediterranean cooking? Embrace it now.

Look for creative ways to modify your favorite recipes to incorporate seasonal produce. This is a perfect time to practice living with less: consuming less, wasting less, eating less, and respecting your panty more. In times of restriction, the already underserved are restricted the most. Rather than greed, leave that extra bag of potatoes, or rice, or celery on the shelf. Don’t stock up quite so fervently. You really don’t need to. International supply chains may slow down or be completely cut-off, but the tremendous abundance around us, in the western world, can sustain us through this crisis. 


Remember to share, to be kind and compassionate, to express empathy, and understanding. 

Remember the beautiful simplicity of the universal and transcending maxim: the golden rule;                                   “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” 

Arabic: “الحاجة ام الاختراع”, which literally means “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Bulgarian: “Неволята Учи”, which literally means “Misery Teaches.”

Russian: “Голь на выдумки хитра”, which literally means “Poor people are crafty.”.

Japanese: 必要は発明の母, which literally means “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Polish: “Potrzeba jest matką wynalazków”, which literally means “Necessity is the mother of the inventions.”

Danish: “Nød lærer nøgen kvinde at spinde”, which literally means “Need teaches naked woman to spin (wool).”

Spanish “La necesidad es la madre de la ciencia”, which literally means “The necessity is the mother of science”

German “Not macht erfinderisch”, which means literally “necessity makes you inventive”

Italian “La necessità aguzza l’ingegno”, which means “necessity sharpens ingenuity”

Latin “Mater artium necessitas”, which means “necessity [is] the mother of arts”

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