Wednesday, September 29, 2010

neighborly kindness

Leah was out in the yard kicking the soccer ball around and she saw our Korean neighbor. Leah greeted her in Korean, and the woman came and gave her these dried squid. Just handed a stack of them to her, not in a bag or anything. She brought them in to me. Let's just say that it is a good thing that I am not pregnant, because the scent of this kind offering would have cleaned out my stomach quick. We were all rushing, hurrying to get them in a Ziploc bag asap. I called my friend Jihyung and asked her what Koreans do with these. She said it is like beef jerky to them. AHHHHHH!! I asked her if she likes it and eats it. She replied yes. So, I passed on this kindness to her. I'll have to ask her if her husband (who grew up in the states) likes it too, and if he makes her brush her teeth before he kisses her after she eats it. What if she brought that to bed to nibble on as a snack? That could be the grounds for divorce for me. ha ha. I have started noticing the unusual smells of things that I eat, and how they would seem to me if I had never smelled it before. Like beef jerky, eggs, broccoli, turkey lunch meat etc. If I grew up here would i think..... mmmmmm cozy snack while watching pride and prejudice, when I smelled dried squid? It's a thought.

I know that when I smell dried squid someday 20 years down the road of life, I will have a sweet reminder of my time in Korean and the kindness of a neighbor, who reached out to someone who is different. Let's all try to do the same. Are you afraid to reach out to someone who is different than you? I challenge you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to a neighbor, someone at work, at church, or that you see every week at one of your kids activities, that is different than you. Perhaps in their age, culture, beliefs, or personality. Show some kindness. Start with a smile, than asked their name, reach out. It makes the world a better place, and you will be happier too. I promise.

Anyway, I plan on returning the favor. Dave suggested a slab of bacon. ha. I think I will make a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies. Jihyung agrees with me.

As promised, some words from Sister Hinkley's book

"Each of us can ask ourselves each morning."What can I do
to make life happier for someone today?'

8 comments:

ali said...

I'm still not speaking to the first person who offered me a stack of dried squid. Over here in the states, that sends a totally different message.

Marlo said...

I just found your blog and am so excited for you guys. Korea looks awesome. My husband is also in the military and we just moved to Turkey a few months ago. I have been too lazy to update my blog, but reading yours is motivating me to finally do it. I can't wait to see more!

cbo said...

That is so great! It is really fun to read about your adventures. I am loving the Sister Hinckley quotes too. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

eeeewww!!!! i remember you told me that a japanese friend thought that brown sugar smelled funny to her. how thoughtful of your neighbor and how cute that lizzy? leah? said hello to her in korean! you look mahvelous!!!!
ciao ciao!!! xoxox

GRodenberg said...

good idea! how about egg salad? yummmm

Dahlene said...

Dried squid? Yuck! It was very kind of her to offer though. I'm sure it took some time to catch them and then dry them. I love the way you cook...simply!

ABlack said...

You look so pretty even when you hold gross dried squid! =)

Kendra said...

I was watching a TV show yesterday, right after reading this post, and someone held up a dried squid and there was a whole conversation about it. I almost died laughing because it made me think of your experience. What a coincidence!