It would be difficult to imagine intentionally lining up two such starkly different views of reality than what I experienced first-hand and "virtually" during the past week.
On January 18th, I traveled to San Francisco to attend an event called "The Fancy Food Show", and to speak at a function while in town. The event is a trade show for the food industry - sponsored by NAFST (The National Association for Specialty Food Trade), featuring gourmet and specialty foods and beverages from 2500 companies around the world (81 countries were represented this year). The show was a feast for the eyes...and the stomach (product sampling is free and frequent).
If this weren't enough, I attended some outstanding evening events--including a tour of San Francisco's North Beach Area led by a local (with my assistance). Meals at The Epic Roasthouse - located on San Francisco's waterfront at 369 Embarcadero near Folsom within breath-taking distance of the Bay and Bay Bridge http://www.epicroasthousesf.com/ , a gathering at the always charming Incanto http://www.incanto.biz/, along with a seemingly endless supply of assorted salumi, cheeses, etc., left me feeling more than sated...to say the least.
Cut to the weekend, during which we decided to attend a showing of "Slumdog Millionaire", a film which presents a grim depiction of life in the slums of Mumbai, India.
As I watched the drama unfold, I couldn't stop thinking about the excesses I had encountered and enjoyed during the previous week. A feeling of guilt, gluttony and gratitude flooded over me as I watched the actors' convincing portrayals of people who would likely never know one meal--certainly not one week of feasting such as the one I had just experienced.
A study in contrasts...of feast and famine...and a reminder to share more frequently and sacrificially of the bounty I have been blessed with.