I wrote my first poem for school when I was sixteen.
It was not very good, but ever since, the last line has run through my head at least once a day. It has become a sort of pact with myself, a mantra: “someday, I will give the whole world a sandwich.”
It was about reconciliation. I was in this transient spirituality phase. I didn’t have the courage to say God wasn’t real, but I was incredibly saddened by the failures of religion. I really wanted to believe that Christianity could be something subversive and revolutionary, and I didn’t find that in church. I began making big batches of sandwiches and driving downtown to give them to homeless people. I wanted to make amends. I was so hungry for something religion could not give me.
At the end of the day, I still went back to my nice suburban home, but I felt the pure ecstasy of becoming a little more human. I knew a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of water wasn’t much, but that was all my coffee shop barista paycheck could swing.It wasn’t about changing the world. It was about changing my world, sitting next to someone I’d been indoctrinated to fear and saying, “Hey, I see you.” To me, it symbolizes the link between the person I am today and the person I evolved from. I promised myself that even if I cannot give the whole world a sandwich, I will never drive past anyone on the side of the road with a cardboard sign and the courage to ask for help without offering something. It often leaves me a little heartbroken over the smallness of my offer, which is usually a fast food meal. But the little connections give me hope. We can start within our hearts to create a new reality.
My family may never accept the person I have become, but I have to hold on to the hope I’ve found elsewhere. I would have never changed the dynamics of my world if I hadn’t been critical of the way in which it was presented to me. I refuse to be content with the suffering in this world. I refuse to deny my human responsibility by passing it off to any one or thing, and most certainly not to any idea, dogma, myth, prayer, or spirit. Peace begins when the hungry are fed, and I don’t see any sandwiches falling from the sky by sleigh or seraph.
God & money are abstractions. They wear a red suit and a beard today. I am still dedicated to the things of this world.