Before each meal, we can join our palms in mindfulness and think about the children who do not have enough to eat. Doing so will help us maintain mindfulness of our good fortune, and perhaps one day we will find ways to do something to help change the system of injustice that exists in the world.
In many refugee families, before each meal, a child holds up his bowl of rice and says something like this: “Today, on the table, there are many delicious foods. I am grateful to be here with my family enjoying these wonderful dishes. I know there are many children less fortunate, who are very hungry.”
Being a refugee he knows, for example, that most Thai children never see the kind of fine rice grown in Thailand that he is about to eat. It is difficult to explain to children in the “overdeveloped” nations that not all children in the world have such beautiful and nourishing food. Awareness of this fact alone can help us overcome many of our own psychological pains. Eventually our contemplation can help us see how to assist those who need our help so much.
Thich Nhat Hanh