Eat, Pray, Love
Life is a banquet. And most of you … are starving to death.
from the broadway musical, Mame
We have both recently seen the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. If you haven’t seen the movie it is about a woman who goes through a mid-life crisis and is having difficulty finding peace. She loses her sense of balance and therefore decides to travel to a number of locations around the world in the hopes of regaining a healthy perspective on life again. Her first destination is Rome. During her stay she has an epiphany moment when she realizes how laid back many Europeans seem to be. Because of our own personal travels to other parts of the world, and the reports we hear from other travelers we know, we too are aware that many other cultures don’t seem to place such a high a value as our culture does on things like drivenness, productivity, structure, and task-orientation. A line from the movie exemplfies this:
The problem with Americans is that when they want to have a glass of wine they have to think about having a glass of wine. And then they have to decide if they should have the glass of wine. Europeans on the other hand, simply order a glass of wine and don’t think twice about it.
One of the main points that we took from the movie is that there are many others who seem to have learned an important secret in this life: They just know how to get more out of their lives. Cultures in which they spend more time together eating meals, sharing more time with families and friends –sometimes simply just talking and being together without an agenda, scheduling more time away from work, and being intentional about nurturing their human connections show an understanding of the essence of life. And that is:
to Eat – celebrating the gifts that we have,
to Pray – developing their spirtual selves and understanding there is something greater
beyond just themselves, and
to Love – sharing with others and exploring joy, laugther, grace, and goodness together.