A Record Day At Karma Kitchen!
Posted by Pavi Mehta on Nov 14, 2008
Last weekend at Karma Kitchen was pretty extraordinary. A whopping 110 people served in roughly three and a half hours -- a figure that breaks all earlier records in our new location. An impressive number for sure but at the end of the day you can't tally up the power of this experiment with a headcount.
Because how do you measure the gratitude of a woman who has come almost every week since reopening to dine here and always with the gift of a beautiful orchid plant to pay-forward? The smile of a guest who has traveled the world as a volunteer taking care of stray dogs or the serendipity of a couple named Lucky & Karma who stumbled in? How do you add up the commitment of people who have joined us from as far away as Sonoma, LA, the East Coast or assign a value to the fact that the man washing dishes in the back is a Berkeley professor, the woman placing naan orders with meticulous care is an MBA grad, the Maitre D is a PhD will be flying to India soon for his engagement and the guy busing tables runs a social entrepreneurship incubator? How do you quantify the riveting conversation between that takes place between half a dozen volunteers about meditation and the practice of examining the mind?
And while we're asking these questions, how do you measure the infectious enthusiasm of a college athlete who "discovers" the thrill of hosing down a huge stack of dirty dishes, or the resonance of a woman who after her first week here gave her car away, walked three miles for her second meal with us and is now filling up glasses of sparkling blueberry pomegranate lemonade in the kitchen? How do you add up the dedication of two roommates serving up seemingly endless trays of artistically arranged food with a smile? Or the contribution of the guys who spent their morning lugging a fall bounty of grapes, persimmons, strawberries, tomatoes and other produce over from the Farmer's Market to be bagged and gifted to wonder-struck guests? How do you gauge the power of serving from a space of abundance, or of as one volunteer quoted, "An idea whose time has come"?
The simple answer: You just can't.
Thank you to the "once-in-a-lifetime" crew :-) for making last week so far beyond computation.