Most of my blog postings are reports on SYD wins at various competitions. I don’t often talk about the human side of my trips and the real motivation for cooking BBQ which is to make a difference in this world by spreading happiness one-on-one and one-by-one.
During my BBQ journey, I have shared my love and passion for BBQ with people from all walks of life. I truly believe that each and every one of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life and to paraphrase Mrs. Walton, “Life is not measured by what you gather but what you give away.” I’ve come across many stories of life challenges and here is one which I have permission to share.
All of us will encounter challenges in our lives. How we respond to those challenges can either discourage us along our path or inspire us to go on even further than we thought possible. I often find it surprising how the simple act of cooking BBQ has connected me with others.
Recently I was contacted by the director of Community Outreach for the Foundation For Disabled Youths, a support group for disabled youth and their families based out of a church in Hacienda Heights. They were interested in organizing a BBQ class for children with disabilities and their parents. After finding an appropriate venue that could accommodate the needs of our class, we developed a special hands-on program to teach kids and parents the joys of barbequing and how to avoid common grilling mistakes.
The class was met with such unparalleled enthusiasm from kids and parents alike that it warmed our hearts to share our experience in a relaxing environment. Benny and Shari Adauto of Funtime BBQ, Donna Fong of Butcher’s Daughter BBQ and my co-worker, David Lee and his son, Ethan Lee were on hand to prepare Slapilicious BBQ chicken, pig candy, pulled pork, corn bread, baked beans and coleslaw for our happy students.
David Lee, Harry’s co-worker, and Donna Fong of Butchers Daughter BBQ tending to the pig candy
Ben Su, president of FFDY presented each of us with a certificate of appreciation though it was us who were the most grateful for the gentle reminder that we are all blessed.
While enjoying some cake to commemorate Ben’s birthday after the lunch was served, Thomas, a parent of an 11-year daughter with a mitochondrial disease, talked about the struggles of diagnosing his child, and searching for the right medical care in China which ultimately led him to Los Angeles. As difficult as it must be for him a parent, Thomas was as jovial and appreciative as a parent of Rhodes Scholar. When we are grateful, then we can be thankful. If we can be thankful, then we can be happy. When you think you have no shoes, think of the person who has not feet. If you have no feet, think of the person who has no legs. How you view the world and how you fit in it and the happiness level you feel is all a matter of perspective. Thomas and members of the FFDY exemplify how to live a life with gratitude and with a positive perspective that the glass is half full. I hope our passion and love for BBQ has warmed their hearts as much as they have warmed ours. No matter where BBQ takes us along our journey, the path is certain to be sprinkled with plenty of joy and love to share with all. Peace, Love, and BBQ. Harry