All week, I have been obsessing over the events in the news, and trying to make sense of them, more importantly, I’ve been trying to think of how I can contribute, what I can do to make the world better. I’m not kidding myself and thinking I can solve the problem, or that I can have some giant impact, but ultimately I’m not happy with doing nothing.
I came up with an idea, one that you are free to steal if it sounds good to you, one that you can contact me if you want to participate.
On a small scale (either a town, or a county) or maybe on a slightly larger scale (in the big hub city closest to you) we throw a catered event. The “Everyone’s Welcome Dinner,” where we get food donated from restaurants, or perhaps its more potluck style, and we cater to every dietary restriction, so that everyone feels enticed to come.
As the title says, everyone is welcome, and that means everyone. The idea would be that we would get people of every race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and just be a community. Everyone is welcome also means people in racist organizations, it means everyone.
The key, is that we get the best food options to really make people want to come, and the rule is we talk about things that we have in common, not things that divide us. Do you play the guitar? Were you on the football team in high school? Have you always dreamed of climbing a mountain?
Now, I’m aware this seems pretty unlikely, and perhaps a lofty idea that won’t happen. I’m not delusional. What it would need to start out as a group of like minded (open-minded) people, who invite one or two people they know who are more clothes-minded, enticing them with the food, but also being completely upfront about what the event is. We don’t scold people if after the event they return to their everyday beliefs and behaviors, we don’t even scold them if they don’t do a great job of mingling, we just continue to invite them back.
I think it becomes very easy for us to seclude ourselves not only in political echo chambers, but in groups of people where we can blend in, whether that is our churches sticking with people who know the same general behaviors, or our race where our skin doesn’t stand out with others. This may be a melting pot, but I think largely there are a lot of chunks where the ingredients have stuck, and not fully melted in.
So the idea is this is a place where everyone is welcome to come and brag about their kids, or reminisce about their sports triumphs, or make plans to climb Everest.
These are the things that will make humanity great, when we see goals, and dreams, and accomplishments, and fond memories, but we’re stuck on these other things. So maybe once a month, or quarter, or however often we can manage to make this happen, we should get together and focus on those things, with what I like to think of as the other great human effort, and that is food.
Please let me know if this is something you’d be interested in working on, or if you have any ideas for it, or any other thoughts you may have (try to remain cordial, that’s gonna be the key to all of this, even if it’s just a formality).