Today, I am thankful for Nutella.
I was sitting at dinner, and I was talking with my friends about this blog, and how I’m running out of things to be thankul for. At that point, my friend Jessie suggested that I be thankful for Nutella. Taking her opinion to be 99% humor and 1% possibility, I chuckled and nodded my head along. Isn’t Nutella a silly thing to be thankful for, after all? It’s a spread made of chocolate and hazelnut. You put it on toast, or dip fruit in it. Shouldn’t thankfulness be reserved for more serious topics, such as volunteering and charity?
While those things are commendable, notable, and unquestionably worth pursuing, something as trivial as Nutella also deserves to be recognized. I thought about everyone involved in the process of making Nutella. I thought about the nameless workers harvesting hazelnuts and cultivating cacao trees. I thought about their families and their stories. I thought about the people driving the vehicles that transported the raw nuts and cocoa to the factories, where nameless workers operate the machinery that mix the two into endless rows of jars. I thought about their families and their stories. I thought about the people driving the vehicles that transported the prepared Nutella to stores, where it was purchased and eventually ended up in front of me, at the table where I sat.
As I thought about these things, I prayed for the people involved in my dessert. I looked past the seemingly silly idea of thankfulness for a food item to peer into the lives of the real, living human beings involved in creating it. It was a humbling experience. Suddenly, it was no longer the Nutella who was silly, but rather, my own self for even entertaining the idea of a food item merely coming from a shelf in the dining commons. I sat in a brief moment of silence, and lay thankfully for those people that I’ll never meet. People who are a brief part of my life, even if for a moment.
It is for these reasons that I am thankful for the sort of things that seem altogether silly to be thankful for. For the little, delightful treats that we take for granted. For things like Nutella. And for the countless people behind everything that defines and shapes our everyday lives, from the pens we use, to the paper we write on, to the food we eat, to the cars we drive, and so on. Today I am thankful for those people that make these things possible. I am thankful for Nutella, but today, I am especially thankful for where Nutella comes from. What, or whom, are you thankful for today?