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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tuna

The pattern of our lives intersects with the lives of others in a grand matrix we seldom realize or even stop to think about. As an example of what I mean, this morning I opened a can of Cloverleaf tuna to make a sandwich for my lunch, and for some reason, thought to glance at the label. Product of Thailand. Interesting. I bet the fish whose body now occupies that little can never knew she was a product of Thailand!

Who were the fishermen (fisherpersons?) whose work brought me this can of tuna? Where do they live? Given that Thailand now imports (due to overfishing in Thai waters) much of the tuna they can and export, they may well have been Indonesian, Taiwanese, Malaysian or Papua New Guinean workers; I will never know, and yet we are connected by this fish!

Okay, I know a meditation on a tuna fish will be a little over the top for some of you, but work with me here, okay?

Now back to the fishers. Whoever they are and wherever they may be from, do those fisher people live in a house or apartment? Do they live in a city or in a fishing village somewhere? What does a Thai or Malaysian fishing village even look like, and how many thousands of people live there? Do they enjoy the luxuries I assume are necessary and take for granted; things like electricity, hot and cold running water, or in-door plumbing? Do the fishermen have families? Do they have children? Boys? Girls? If so, do those children go to school? Are they well fed and clothed? Are they loved and cared for? Do they live in secure neighbourhoods or dangerous, violent ones? And what are their dreams for the future?

Wherever the fishers are from, they probably took their catch to Phuket in Thailand for processing. Who were the dock workers who unloaded those fish? And the woman in the cannery who packed the tuna into that little can, who is she? What is her life like? Is she well and happy? Does she have dreams? Does she ever wonder about the person who will eventually open this can and eat this fish? Probably not.

And yet her life and mine have connected. Think of all the people whose lives are touched by this one little fish. In New York or Los Angeles are the office workers who processed the orders for so many thousand cases of canned tuna. Out on the sea somewhere half way around the world are fishers from whatever country who sail in a trawler or hopefully a long-line fishing boat to catch the fish. In Phuket are factory workers who process and store it, then ship it to exotic places like Canada. After briefly touching dozens if not hundreds of lives, the tuna at last arrives at the Zehrs store in Woodstock, ON where it finally comes to me.

As I eat my lunch today, as I say a silent prayer of gratitude for this food, may I also remember the fishermen and their families, the cannery workers, the office clerk, the truck driver, the shelf stockers; all the people whose lives and labour have been touched and blessed by this one tuna fish. On some unseen level, their lives have intersected with mine. We are connected, and despite our different circumstances, somehow we are really all part of the same unseen whole. I have been blessed by their lives and labour. I am grateful.

May they and you be well and happy, and may we each know that we are blessed today.

Posted by Carman

3 comments:

  1. I love tuna! I think I'll join you today at lunch and eat a tuna sandwich. And what wonderful prayer thoughts to prayerfully consider all who are involved in my tuna!
    I wonder if there are any Community of Christ members who fish tuna!
    GB
    Matthew

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  2. this reminds me of when I was a little girl about 6 or 7. My Grandmother told me, that we were all one family in this world because we all came from Adam. I excitedly went to school and told everyone they were my cousins because we all came from Adam....they laughed at me....I was stunned. Maybe if we all saw everyones lives as interconnected.....by this common thread (Adam) there would be a lot less hatred and prejudice in this world.

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  3. Matthew, thanks for your enthusiasm. I think you totally "got" this.

    Paula, I remember you as a girl and I can totally imagine that happening. Your trusting, innocent nature made you vulnerable to the other children's laughter, and because you didn't have a mean bone in your body, you would not see that coming. I am willing to bet you are still the same, and that your family and friends all love you for it. I am so glad to connect with you again via this blog after all these years.

    Blessings today folks,

    Carman

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