Ramen on Purpose

Every now and then, eat ramen because you can, not because you have to.

Sit down with the pack in hand. How much was it? $0.50? Feel the plastic. Let it sink in. Think about what it stands for.

Try to be present. Really be there so you can understand the miracle that is ramen. How does someone fit an entire meal into such a tiny packet? How can the process be so efficient that the result costs $0.50? It has taste, substance, and sustenance. Not a lot, perhaps, but enough to pass off as dinner.

Every day, somewhere on this planet, someone is willing to risk their life for a pack of ramen (or whatever its local equivalent). They would walk 20 miles, kill a lion, or, on the worst of days, a person. They wouldn’t care about the spices or the packaging. They wouldn’t even add water – probably because there is none. They’d tear away the plastic, bite off a heavy chunk, and chew on uncooked noodles. They’d devour the whole thing, and when the stomach ache sets in, they’d be as grateful as you are when you feel full from a $20 burger delivered right to the doorstep of your comfy apartment.

That’s 40 packs of ramen, by the way.

There is no trick to being grateful other than to notice. Noticing takes practice, so let’s make it a practice. That’s what this blog is for, among other things. When you notice habitually, you’ll recognize all kinds of things. Rather than just see, you’ll also observe.

Every now and then, you’ll find yourself with a pack of ramen in your hands. You’ll realize: You don’t have to eat them – but you can – and that makes all the difference.