You would think that chocolate is universal. Something that is everywhere, that everyone can enjoy. It's not. There are people who have never tried it, even the farmers who break their backs to harvest cocoa beans for a few cents in the Ivory Coast. Watch their faces light up when they eat it for the first time.
Watching them marvel about this sweet food that comes from the beans they harvest is amazing to me. First, because it's a joy to see their faces. Then, because it's a stark reminder of how amazingly lucky we are.
For us westerners chocolate is just one more thing. It's inconsequential. We like to eat it, sometimes we get delighted by it for a minute. But more often than not it's just one more snack to stuff our fat faces with. We don't think about it and the incredible effort and resources that are required to make it. We take it for granted along with the other billion foods and the other billion other technologies and privileges we didn't fight for.
I'm not posting this to be preachy. This comes from a place of true wonder, to remind myself about my own comfortable numbness and the hundred things that I take for granted every day. One day something fatal will happen and then you will realize how much time you wasted whining about this or that rather than enjoying the infinite amount of awesome (yes, everything is awesome!) stuff that exists around you.
I need some chocolate right now.
UPDATE: VPro Metropolis—the worldwide group of reporters who produced the video above—went to the streets of Netherlands to ask first world people about what they thought the cocoa fruit was. Not surprisingly, nobody had a clue where their beloved chocolate came from:
It's not surprising. Used to find things packaged and processed in their supermarkets, most urbanites in most Western countries don't have a clue about where most of the food really come from.