Last Saturday, I went to Shang to meet up with some friends. I met up with my FY core team for an emergency meeting and I spent 520 pesos to feed the five of them with a pretty hefty lunch at the Food Forum. I also met up with my college friend and I spent 520 pesos for my share of our meal at Banana Leaf.
At first look, I felt bad at how wasteful I am with my spending. Why shell out a certain amount for 1 person that could already feed 5 people, right? But then I remembered what I told myself in 2017 that there are sacrifices needed to show that we care about people–and the biggest chunk of it is “showing up”. I’ve come to terms that I need to exert effort, allocate time, and ‘invest’ money if I want to cultivate my relationships. And in my circles, that money aspect tends to require a bit more since it’s a world of good restaurants, local and international travel, relatively expensive coffee, wine bottles, and high-end malls.
I try not to be sucked into the temptation of wanting to ‘keep up’ but there is a need to adapt and blend in. I learned today from our office small group that an important aspect of building relationships is “approaching the other person’s world”. And since fellowship over food has been part and parcel even of Jesus’ and the apostles’ ministry, I guess it just makes sense to meet people at the level of their tastebuds.
(I hope this is not me trying to justify my food vice haha.)