Photo: Indian Food by Jm Verastigue
Last night, together with my wife and a couple of friends, I had a meal in an All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant. In the UK, it’s not that common to have an all-you-can-eat-buffet, outside of breakfast or lunch-time specials.
It was a huge Pan-Asian restaurant, and there were sections for Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese and many more types of food. Even British-style fish and chips (maybe that’s what the ‘Pan’ part meant!)
The selection seemed almost infinite. And when one food tray was starting to run low, it was soon replaced with a full one. A small army of staff kept everything running smoothly. As soon as you had emptied your plate, it was whisked away, and you were free to help yourself to another, and fill it with whatever you wished.
Not being used to the idea, it was very tempting to overdo it. And I did. Each time I went back for another helping, I thought, I’ve got to get my money’s worth!
By the end of our two hour table reservation, I was completely stuffed, to the point of being uncomfortable. But why?
Apart from the obvious answer being ‘Greed’, a part of me must still be focusing on a ‘lack’ mentality. That I’ve got to ‘get it while I can’, and if I don’t it will be taken away from me. Instead of stopping when I was comfortably full, I had to take more than my fair share.
And yet, like Universal Supply, I knew my own supply of food wasn’t going to run out. There was clearly more than enough to go around. And me taking whatever I wanted wouldn’t result in someone else going without.
Maybe I should go there more often, until finally I ‘get it’! Or maybe I should make more of an effort to ‘get it’ in practice, rather than just in theory.
Sometimes, ‘self-help’ and ‘helping yourself’ can mean the same thing.