‘Have you eaten? Umekula? Tu as mangè?’
This question, in any language, forms the single, most powerful declaration of love. Someone who asks you whether you have eaten cares that you have been nourished. For most of us this person is usually our mother. Most of the time people ask about your work, your children, your school work, your travel or business. Of course people who ask about these aspects of your life do care. But there is a depth of caring, a depth of love that is revealed by the question ‘have you eaten?’ It’s a simple question, even basic, but think about this: food is a basic human need in the Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. So this single question goes to the essence of our being, it cuts through the layers to who we really are; beings that need care, nourishments…love.
A friend mine, after 35 years on this earth, told me he realizes he is loved whenever his housekeeper calls him from her home to ask whether he has eaten. At that moment, he is occupying his place in time knowing that he is loved. Food forms part of culture, heritage – it is part of who we are. Have you eaten declares; I love you so much to care about your most basic needs. If you want to put this to test, just be conscious of who asks you whether you