The F-Word
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Politics and Activism

The F-Word

Who knew that food could symbolize peace and unity?

The F-Word
Nora McCarthy-Ragland

In light of recent tragedies that have plagued our world, I have been stewing over my response. From gun violence to controversial cop conflicts, the recent news is filled with sadness. These issues have been in the back of my mind for months, but were brought to the forefront on a recent vacation.

My family and I were at the beach and were deciding on where to eat for dinner. We flipped through pamphlets for seafood restaurant after seafood restaurant but still didn't find something that sounded both economic and delicious. I hopped on Google and soon came upon Big Mike's Soul Food. We were all intrigued, so we hopped in the car and set off to see what Big Mike's was all about. We pulled up to find a little place with a line out the door. The place had a giant surfboard out front and was decorated with the color red all around. Red and white checkered tablecloths adorned the tables, while sweet tea was served all around. Cajun spices and the smell of fried chicken hung in the air. We instantly knew this would be a great meal.

We sat down and I noticed that we were in the minority. Most patrons were African-American, but that did not seem to matter at all. What brought unity and what mattered the most was the f-word: food. We all came for a delicious home-cooked meal and we all received that and more. A large family was sitting behind us and they had a little boy who was probably three or four. He would peek over the wall and smile or wave to us throughout the whole night. His mother scolded him and his father came over to apologize afterward because he thought that the little boy had thrown food at us. We quickly told him that this was no the case at all, but that his little boy was in fact just the cutest thing! We apologized for getting him in trouble and we talked and laughed with the family. The little boy would not stop smiling and showing off for us, so much so that his father had to pick him up and carry him out. This little encounter stuck with me and made me think about all that is going on in the world.

With all the divisiveness and hatred shown in the media, a lesser publicized side is the one that I just shared with you. The side where two families can both enjoy the three f-words: food, family and fun. It didn't matter to that little boy that we looked differently than he did. It mattered that we smiled and played with him. I wonder how different our world would be if we focused less on hatred, hostility and differences, and instead focused on fun, love and of course, food? I would have hated to have missed out on such a fun place just because it was different than other places that we eat. So to that little boy, thank you for playing with us that night. Thank you for cracking us up and for making our night. To the staff of Big Mike's, thank you for bringing people together with the great f-words: family, fun and of course, food.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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