Breaking Bread

There aren’t that many things in this world that I’m good at. This doesn’t actually bother me as, when the expectations of you are high, folks anticipate results, and you’ve worked your tail off to make it happen. In the mean time you’ve neglected friends, family, and fun. Me? I was with my friends, I was with my family, and I’ve had a ton of fun. One of my life sayings is “Set peoples expectations of you low. That way when you let them down it’s considered normal, and when you do something amazing, they are truly impressed.” Lazy? Maybe, but it’s gotten me this far.

Now, the one thing I do do well, is preparing anything with dough. I’m still working on perfecting pasta, but my attempts are limited to a couple times, and I know I’ll get it. Maybe it’s because I love bread, so the drive to perfect it pushes me to excellence. Or maybe it’s because I know I can fix a bad day for my husband with his favorite cookie recipe. What I haven’t done though, is make our own sandwich bread. I can’t quite figure out why I chose not to bother with it. Maybe it was the amount of consumption in our home, having three sons. Maybe I felt like it wasn’t important enough to bother with. I honestly don’t know.

After we moved to the mountains though, I decided, and especially since it was just the two of us; that it was time for me to start making our own sandwich bread. I started hunting down recipes, and spent time researching pans. Our 8,600 foot elevation can interfere, and additionally; I’m working with a crap oven that lets me down time after time. It’s been almost a year and a half since the move; but today, I finally for the first time, made sandwich bread. The motivator in all honesty, I’m out of bread. Out of bread, out of those sandwich thins I love; and the store is 45 minutes away. If I didn’t make this bread, I wasn’t going to be having the lunch I want. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. Or hunger, in my case.

I think one of the reasons I haven’t pursued the sandwich bread though, is that I like the warm fuzzies I get from purchasing Dave’s Killer Bread. If you’re unfamiliar with this company, you need to change that. This is a company that hires, and works to encourage other businesses to hire, individuals with a criminal background. They saw the necessity to make a REAL difference in the world, and knew that providing a chance to someone, someone who would have a hard time getting hired elsewhere, made a real world difference. Stats for recidivism are just sad. I don’t think it’s just the stigma attached to the individual, but I think the potential liability issues a business owner must face if/when the hiring of an ex-con occurs; can keep a person from being hired. Buying this bread made me personally feel like I was helping out. A real world, individual, no government mandates; solution.

I watched those on the left post incredibly ugly comments when David Koch died. It was heartless, unnecessary, and made me change my opinions of people that I have held some respect for in the past. Regardless of whether or not you agree with someone, their death is when you provide compassion; not outrage. (I do have an exception for folks like Mugabe though. I would hope that’s obvious.) So you have an ideological difference with David Koch. Eh. That doesn’t impress me, as I actually know the history of the Koch Brothers. They are not the vile men the left paints them to be, and I don’t know if there has been a more active, effective, and philanthropic, modern family. It’s no secret I’m a Libertarian. I make that very clear. It’s also no secret that the Koch Brothers lean Libertarian. Most of their activities over the years, I can appreciate, and agree with. If you do some digging, you’ll see that their reach is far, and diverse; teaming up with both Democrats, and Republicans to accomplish mutual goals. Were they concerned about themselves first? I think most folks are. Especially if you’re an employer, and you have to worry about keeping food on the tables of your employees. We made decisions about our business that I wasn’t the happiest with for whatever reason, because we had employees that needed their paycheck, and every other paycheck after that.

Earlier this year I ran across a story about Charles Koch, urging fellow business owners to hire applicants with a criminal history. Often called the “ban the box” movement, it is, as I said above; a real world answer to a problem, that doesn’t require the government.  Charles, and David Koch both, have/had a heart for criminal justice reform.  I could talk for days on this subject, so when I see examples of effort; I like to acknowledge them.

I’ve always taken issue with what the definition of charity is, and how it’s messaged in society. Contrary to what many believe, charity is not the responsibility of the government. And if we want to break it down to Biblical charity, it is to be voluntary, and organic. If you can’t buy your way into heaven, no amount of charity “forced” upon you feeds your soul, offers the fulfillment it’s meant to, or allows you to pass through the Pearly Gates.  The place the ban the box movement comes from, is admirable, respectable, and is definitely a form of charity in this screwed up world.

In our polarized nation, maybe we all need to just take a deep breath, and go buy a damn loaf of overpriced bread. I’d rather put my money into programs, and movements that I know make an actual difference, and is done with the purest of intentions. And after we all buy a loaf of overpriced bread, maybe we can look around us at other needs in our community that can be addressed without government input.  That puts jewels in your crown, not advocating for theft from your neighbor.

More on David Koch’s death.