The Power of Pizza

Pizza. It’s everywhere. It’s in your fridge leftover from yesterday, all over Instagram, and probably the cause of that grease stain left on your jeans.

It’s a way we connect with our friends, family, and people we don’t know all that well.

It’s a way my family celebrates New Year’s and Christmas by making homemade pizza from Italian tradition.

It’s used to reunite old and forgotten friends when you reminisce over “that one time…”

Pizza unites. I was a witness of this first-hand when I saw a dad and son meet each other for the first time in a long time.

I was hanging at Me-N-Ed’s (great Central Valley pizza place!) with a friend, nothing too out of the ordinary for a Friday. I noticed a few construction workers eating at a table near us on their lunch break.

Twenty minutes goes by. I notice a woman walking through the doors recording with her phone as she walks up to the men. Trailing behind her was a boy at the tender age of 14.

The boy taps one of the construction workers on his shoulder and the man’s face lights up. The two embraced in a hug I knew could only come between a father and son.

They both sat down and the man commented on how long the boy’s hair had grown. He looked at his son’s ID, laughed, and showed his coworkers. The woman who was recording sat, beaming at the two.

There I was, watching this whole thing go down. I had only seen family reunions on TV shows but have never witnessed one so impromptu. The action of this boy surprising his dad was so simple but yet so powerful.

The happiness that occurred between those two was enough to bring tears to your eyes. I personally did not cry, but could not help but feel how contagious this happiness was.

What I loved about this man was he seemed like a humble guy who was enjoying the start to his weekend. He missed his son to where ever he had left to, but he eventually came back to him.

I took a couple things from these two:

1) Don’t forget about where you come from. I come from a small community where everyone knows everyone. Yes, at times it seems like you may never escape from that “small-town” atmosphere, but you must always have the bigger picture in mind.

2) Travel to different parts of the state, country, and world to gain insight on all the cultures that are just as important as the American culture. One of my goals is to move somewhere out of my comfort zone, because life isn’t about being comfortable. (One of my peers told me that before. It’s stuck with me ever since.)

3) Always remember where you come from. My family will always be there to support me and bring me back down to Earth. And I will always come back to visit.

Go grab some pizza with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. They may feel just as surprised as the man surprised by his son. Remember, happiness is contagious.


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