A few days ago, I found an interesting YouTube page provided by a young American man who is currently teaching English in Korea. His name is Oliver and first of all, his amazingly fluent Korean was so impressive. His many fun clips should be very helpful to many Koreans who want to learn English and more about America. While enjoying them, one video stood out to me strongly.

It was about the reality of America (literally interpreted as “the real face [without makeup] of America”), and he mentioned some basic problems of American society, such as the very complicated and high cost of the health care system and American people’s health issues such as obesity. He pointed out many causes of these issues, and one of them is the so-called “food desert,” which means an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable and good quality fresh food. There was a news reporter interviewing an elementary classroom and I was shocked to see that many kids in the classroom could not recognize tomatoes. When the reporter showed them a bottle of tomato ketchup and explained that it’s made out of this fruit, they seemed very astonished.

As I am in the middle of applying for American citizenship with Grace and Miah, it gives me an opportunity to think about how we all need to work together for the better future of this country. Maybe the first step we should start with is to find a way to promote healthy lives for our families and people around us. To go one step further, I happened to think that health doesn’t necessarily address our physical bodies only. So, what does a “food desert” do to our spiritual status?

I guess many people choose processed food or fast food rather than homemade food for many reasons, mainly for time and money. What would be an example for our spiritual health then? I cannot give an efficient answer at this moment, but I can think of at least one idea; our choices for convenience are not always good for us in the long run. This year, one of my resolutions is to try to spend more time with real people again. We may need to spend more time and effort to be in places where people are and also invite more people to come, but it will be a healthy and wise choice for ourselves and our people.

“… not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV)