From a Kitchen
in the World House
This is a cookbook with down-home recipes that students
picked from their own cultural choices. The book is also
a declaration. Among the spices, grains, proteins, and
carbs, arose within the hearts and minds of the students a
fortified commitment to preparing and adding to the effort to construct
the World House.
The World House currently lacks a strong moral foundation. We
have put an overabundant emphasis on material gain and technological
development. We have de-emphasized our moral, spiritual dimension.
Today, our survival depends on closing the gap between our scientific
progress and moral progress. Dr. King also teaches that sustaining the
World House requires ending systemic racism and creating economic,
political, and social equality and wholeness.
To live in the World House, we must end poverty. Poverty, like racism,
scars the soul of all, both the victim and the privileged. All human beings
are interdependent. What impacts one directly, impacts everyone indirectly.
Another element in the World House is the necessity to replace war and
human destruction with genuine peace and justice.
This book is also a chronicle, a story of 30 students from the Martin
Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and the Institute for Community Leadership.
They tell a story common to many around the world. It is a story about being
united during a time of “shelter-in-place,” and being connected when the
act of living requires separation. It is a story of wrestling with loss and
experiencing lostness. It is also a story of deeper love and discovering
the science of a more satisfying and sustainable way to live.
The students studied. They read Dr. King. They read the Declaration
of Independence. They read poets and writers from diverse backgrounds
whose living and writings are dedicated to democracy. For five months in
the spring and summer of 2020 they met online with over 70 leaders, some
“ Besieged teens, who reject foolish and
despairing ideas and stand erect with
strong words and stronger curiosity,
find ways to be relevant.”
known and many less so, and candidly discussed topics of leadership and how
to be one’s nobler self. To create the book, they formed couplets. That is,
the 30 young warriors for justice formed 15 pairs, and between the two
in each pair they exchanged one another’s cultural recipe.
Besieged teens, who reject foolish and despairing ideas and stand erect
with strong words and stronger curiosity, find ways to be relevant. They
worry like many others. They reach out for camaraderie and meaningful
connections. Yet, unlike many of all ages, who write cynical putdowns on
social media and wear several different faces, relevant teens smile warmly,
comforting elders, and they ask frustrated adults if they can be of help.
They measure others by the soberness and seriousness of their ideas and
their contributions to the common good.
Some humanists long ago warned of the grave consequences of denying
nature. The problematic profiteer attacks nature at every turn, cutting,
splitting, crushing, pumping, and blasting elements of nature into large
profits. Their dangerous ways involve hardworking people who need the job.
In the effort to suck them in, the profiteers need a story that can cloud the
4 FROM A KITCHEN IN THE WORLD HOUSE