Giving Thanks in a World of Conflict

posted in: Ruminations | 25

3068596345_91d7302b6d_z

Hey guys, I made a buckwheat-crust apple pie recipe recently. But that’s not really what I wanted to write about this week. In light of the Paris and Beirut attacks and continuing threats from their perpetrators, it’s awkward for me to talk about the relative pros and cons of a nutty, alternative grain. But I think we do need to come and sit around the table.

This Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will say some expression of gratitude and blessings before a generous meal. What can we be thankful for, when the world seems so screwed up? With little to no clear solution, and only promise of more conflict to come? I hear a lot of throats being cleared and long, confused pauses. Sure enough, we have the obvious to be thankful for—that there is food on the table, that the people sitting around it are safe, and that it wasn’t our country that was hit by multiple terrorist attacks last week. But isn’t there something uncomfortable about thanking your lucky stars for having dodged a bullet that was at least in part intended for you? That was at least in part provoked, if inadvertently, by your actions? Let’s not be naive about it.

So what can we say? Whether you’re with your closest friends or your extended family of in-laws, it can be difficult to choose your words without having a crazy, dizzying political argument at Thanksgiving. I know that any discussion of the sort is off-limits in many situations. I certainly don’t want to have an ugly debate at my holiday. But I don’t want to say nothing and skip these topics entirely—in favor of some discussion on apple pie. Just like I don’t want to here.

There may be no etiquette from Miss Manners on this, but I think it’s possible to have a respectful and maybe productive discussion at times of great conflict without rustling too many feathers. So here are some tips for what to say and what not to say during both blessings and in conversation around the table, to avoid a really awkward situation and still pay respect to the values and love that mark the Thanksgiving holiday.

DO:

1. Acknowledge that life is precious. Everyone matters, but not everyone gets the chance to live to their potential. So give your sympathies to those who were lost. And tell yourself and the people around you that not now, and no time, is right to crawl into hiding, but to live up to yours. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.

2. Talk about what you were most scared to hear or see. Get your fears out and find solace in knowing you’re not the only one fearing them. It may be chilling at first, but it could help make everyone feel a little better afterward. I know that’s helped me in times of tragedy before.

3. Dwell on the past. That may sound like a “don’t,” but speaking from the vantage point of hindsight affords you more factual options than trying to predict the future. You can’t argue about what’s already happened, and you might learn something you didn’t know from others that way.

4. Include people from different backgrounds or religions. No need to force it, but if there’s someone or some people with a different background or religion, make an attempt to hear them out. Especially if you’re doing a lot of talking yourself.

5. De-escalate without putting down. If someone gets riled up, raising their voice or pounding their fist, just say something like, “I see how you feel” with Zen Buddhist calm. It is entirely true while remaining totally neutral about whether you agree or disagree. When nobody rises up to their level, the person will probably feel dumb and calm down.

6. Thank the cooks. And the farmers. Food matters. Don’t waste it, either.

DON’T:

1. Posit ‘what you would do if’ you were President Obama, Hollande, Assad or whomever. That’s the wrong way to frame an opinion from an average person. It’s annoying. Leave that to the GOP candidates.

2. Feel like you have to respond to everything. There is no need for a counter-attack, if someone voices something that you disagree with. And if someone keeps challenging you, you have the right to let it go. This is not a presidential debate. And you’re not trying to win anything.

3. Try desperately to change someone’s opinion. He or she is just not that into your opinion sometimes. Don’t seem that desperate for approval. You can’t always win friends and influence people over the holiday table no matter how much power of positive thinking you have. Take it from the self-help books.

4. Take a deep dive into the hate. We all know that there are hateful guys doing hateful deeds. Let’s acknowledge. But focusing too long on the hate tends to get people really, really angry, disgusted, and brazen. Which can lead to escalation at your table (See Do #5), and unless you’re an expert, nothing interesting or productive. And as far as I’m concerned, there is nowhere in a “blessing” that has room for a curse.

5. Be dismissive. It’s one thing to prefer to leave a discussion be, but it’s another thing to say that said discussion should be of no concern to anybody. I hate being told that things I care about don’t matter for one. If you tell me that it can matter to me, but it can wait, then that’s cool, and I can understand.

6. Disrespect the hosts or hostesses. If you’re in their house, and they’re feeding you, then they automatically “win” anything. That’s just guest etiquette.

Of course, every family and gathering is different, and this is really general advice. There may be no general, one-size-fits-all advice for everyone, but having sat around many different families’ tables of many different cultures during holidays, I have learned a few lessons over the years. Finally, I’m not talking about what we can do, a whole other topic, but what to say. Talk may be cheap, but talking can inspire action. Talking can also inspire comfort. So make talk, and make whatever you want out of it in the aftermath.

25 Responses

  1. LA
    |

    This is wonderful, level-headed, good-hearted advice. Thank you, Cathy.

  2. Katrina G.
    |

    Such a nice and meaningful post!
    xx
    Cathy from Greece

  3. Randy
    |

    Your blog and photos is absolutely good! You are so kind to list out the advice for us in making this. I appreciate the effort in writing and putting photos to illustrate this post more perfectly.

  4. Cathy Erway
    |

    Thanks, guys!

  5. Peter
    |

    Thanks for the post, it’s great to see such a well balanced advice in today’s world. It’s a bit sad that it’s needed.

  6. Mumbai Angels
    |

    Awesome tips to enjoy the real taste of Chicken…. thanks for share…

  7. Ahuti Oswal
    |

    These girls are highly professionals. Apart from their modeling career, they have been serving the escort industry for years. They are well-educated and can communicate with people easily. You can expect flawless Jaipur Model Escort Services from them because they are highly professional. They know what the client can demand from them and how it should be fulfilled.

  8. Goa angel
    |

    Gents Do you prefer some individual experience and looking astonishing escorts encounter is your dream and also your solution is of course as well as nothing is more crucial than your preferable requirements then meet me I am cream of the crop women friend in Goa.

    http://angelsofgoa.com/

  9. Dishita Garg
    |

    They never miss their assignment and present there with all the enthusiasm and charm that you expect from these dazzling divas. Your satisfaction is guaranteed by them all the time. They are not only beautiful and smart but also intelligent and attractive.You can expect perfect communication from them while they are dealing with them. They have good educational background and that it is not all.

    http://www.dishita.in/

  10. Gareema Sharma
    |

    They can speak more than one language and can impress the clients with their beauty easily. They can do magic when they meet the clients. You can even hire them for foreign clients who want to enjoy the company of the local top-class girls. You can take them with you for prestigious award functions or grand parties where only the dignified and classy people are allowed.

    http://www.gareema.in/

  11. Love Me
    |

    Myself Hot Niharika a young and most well-known Escort for some classy person. I perhaps provide you the very best companionship solution or if you understand a lot more regarding my utmost service or me after that visit my service page Click on this link…

    http://loveme.ind.in/

  12. Maya Madam
    |

    there you understand everything about my companion solution and choose the service that you want tonight.We prepare to include class to our Hyderabad Companion Service to offer our customers more than they anticipate! For this we set up our girls sufficient and with mind blowing precision.

    http://www.mayamadam.in/

  13. My Madona
    |

    We established our marvels and make them much in addition captivating through establishing them up means to manage proposal a guy as well as keeping the interest and also scientific research going also while making a wistful discourse or acceptable wicked talks.

    http://mymadona.com/

  14. Miss Maya
    |

    We furthermore choose our escorts with equivalent accuracy. The quality we search for in companions whilst decision are an inalienable psychological course, a city as well as chic outline as well as design, a wonderful body completely healthy as well as happiness, skillfulness, an interior drive to please the client by going an added mile as well as a genial as well as easing component, that will immediately make a client drew in to our queens.

    http://mayamadam.com/

  15. Punita Seth
    |

    Goa is the busy city where we need to book a hotel also, where permission should not be applicable for entry a new person. Please take proper information about booked hotel where privacy should be available otherwise, you may face difficulties of fraud incidents. Goa celebrity escort will come in the hotel with you like your friend or girlfriend and here you need to tell about hotel staff or receptionist.

    http://www.punita.in/

  16. Goa queen
    |

    To serve you so pleasingly and affectionately, the chose sexual performer you will browse our organization will treat you so energetically and profoundly so you can feel the genuine joy of getting insinuated with a hot and beautiful accomplice.

    http://www.goaqueen.in/

  17. Sonia
    |

    our Goa escorts are accomplished and know how to oversee things even at time when you request something which is impractical, yet my escorts will never say a no to it, They can be the way you need them to be on bed. So why hold up don’t hesitate to call my booking office and book your date throughout today.

    http://madamsonia.com/

  18. Talika mehta
    |

    Dial O9967541580 and see the differences of the great hospitality of our Goa Escorts trusted Independent Escorts in Goa provice non stop Goa Escort Service.

    http://www.trustourhighprofileescorts.in/

  19. cooker guru
    |

    Thanks, that you share your amazing recipe! But I usually cook in rice cooker, so.. That’s a little bit hard for me. So, have you ever tried to cook something by this way? Do you want to try? Use amazing cooker guru and find your “soulmate”.

  20. Kiya Malhotra
    |

    Call @9999928653 Kiya Malhotra an independent Escort Girl New Delhi sizzling hot Escort Services New Delhi for your personal Escort Services entertainment

    http://www.kiyamalhotra.com/

  21. Arpita Rai
    |

    Website :- http://www.arpitarai.in/
    09167354423

    Arpita Rai is a Mumbai based Model with an overall achieve that was established in 2015.
    Mumbai Sexy Escorts Services

  22. jemi
    |

    In today’s dynamic world, the Call Girls are having impact as far as amusement industry where clients are attracted by an adorable desire given by these young ladies. Above all else guests coming to India will settle available to come back to work young ladies to serve their requirements which increases the value of their visit to Bangalore. With the blasting number of guests accessible if the need arises young ladies organizing sites is going to build step by step. In the long run increasingly Call Girls, Bangalore Escort Services and Bangalore Female Escorts are coming into operations ordinary and contracting fresher and experienced Call Girls left and right.
    http://www.rentatoy.in

  23. Mumbai Escorts
    |

    very nice……..

  24. curvy cams
    |

    Hello, Ellan! That’s absolutely nice to meet you. I would really help you, but, unfortunately, I understand so little about this field. But we can improve ourselves together and try to understand the way to solve it easily. But if you want just share curvy cams with me, you’re welcome anyway.

  25. Kashish Kapoor
    |

    Hi, this is Kashish Kapoor an independent escorts in Goa. I an sexy and tall. I like flirting and watching naughty videos. My age is 24 years and I am 4 years experienced in this field. I know all the moves and my curves are extra large to provide extra sensation while touching.

Leave a Reply