If social media is any indication, many of us spent Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday contemplating his words, searching for an escape from these Divided States of America in which we currently reside.
I know you join me in the vision of a world not divided by the barriers of race, sex, religion, sexual preference or wealth.
When regarding Martin’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it is disconcerting to realize his words are perhaps more relevant today than they first were 55 years ago.
2017 was easily the most divisive year that I personally can remember. The threads of vitriol and hatred became intricately woven into the very fabric of our daily life. Civility all but evaporated. Our “leaders” could not or perhaps worse, would not, reach across the aisle to those whose version of love of country looked different than their own.
It falls to those of us who can envision a world that our hearts KNOW is possible to step into the leadership abyss. To quote the Hopi elders “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
But where do we begin?
Simply by starting where we are: In our homes and communities.
Startup One Table has partnered with Repair the World to create “a grassroots movement of Shabbat dinners across the country dedicated to celebrating diversity, equality, and inclusion in the face of fear, division, and hate”. Imagine a group of ethnically and politically diverse people breaking bread on Friday night, dining communally while listening to each other’s life experiences.
The Peoples Supper, begun in January 2017, has similarly hosted over 900 meals coast to coast, building on the proposition that hate cannot grow where there is familiarity.
Communal dining gives new meaning to the idea that there are no strangers, only friends we haven’t yet met.
Why not pull up a chair?