Don’t swallow the pits! Wisdom for world out of whack

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, July 16, 2020

Glen Koenig, at his fresh produce stand in Cochrane, displays B.C. cherries, a source of wisdom for a world out of whack. Photos by Warren Harbeck

Last Friday, as is Mary Anna’s and my weekly summertime custom, we visited Glen’s Truck – Glen Koenig’s fresh BC produce truck, that is, in the Rexall Pharmacy parking lot in Cochrane. But this time we were in for a very timely surprise: succulent wisdom for our world that seems so out of whack these days.

The Salmon Arm–area grower has been marketing his BC fruits and vegetables in our community for 35 years now. It wouldn’t be summer for Mary Anna and me without enjoying Glen’s strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with our morning cereal. And Mary Anna’s delicious cherry pie? She just made her first of the season, and I’m looking forward to a slice as soon as I finish this column.

Ah, but those cherries are bringing more than just good taste! Let me go back a few years to a series of columns I’ve done inspired by a comment by Cochrane leadership author/speaker David Irvine:

“The world’s out of whack,” he said back in 2001. And I think that is an especially fitting description of our current Covid-19 pandemic situation, with its distressing health, economic and social implications.

In a serious discussion with several of our coffee companions about what to do about it back then, Leanne Forest, Bob Bartlett and Mary Anna brought up the example of CARE parcels for a needy world. Ah yes, we concluded, we could always create whack packs for a world out of whack, too! (See my Oct. 17, 2001 column on my website.)

Well, since then, our readers have suggested what might be included in such whack packs.

“How about new ears and eyes for world leaders?” Mary Anna suggested. Or how about quality time together, Candace Carnie proposed. Or copies of Linda Popov’s Virtues Project books on 52 virtues that underlie our life together, along with a copy of Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s great song, What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love?

Or as Stoney Nakoda First Nations Elder Tina Poucette has often suggested, how about ahopabi, “respect”?

And as my equestrian goddaughter Kateri Cowley was quick to add, don’t forget horses. After all, she said, they teach us so much about patience and boundaries.

All those continue to be worthy additions to a whack pack for today’s world, too.

But there’s one devastating dysfunction I’m particularly sensitive to lately: the gross disinformation, false accusations and baseless speculations fostered over the social media and in mean-spirited emails. And then folks are sharing and forwarding this stuff without even checking to see if it’s true. Gossip by any other name is still just gossip!

For me, that’s a major reason our world is so out of whack these days. I mean, much of what I’m encountering is the pits!

“The pits”? Yes, it’s the pits! And here’s where the special wisdom that cherries offer must be included in our whack pack for today’s world that is so out of whack:

Don’t swallow the pits!


© 2020 Warren Harbeck

Return to Coffee With Warren home page