Sunday, October 23, 2016

The power of a dinner table

I don’t think anyone can help but feel saturated with all the politics coming our way with just a few weeks left before the presidential election. But every once in a while, something catches my eye. Though it touches on the current election, it is about something more important and far reaching. David Brooks, a columnist for the New Your Times, wrote about a weekly experience he began about 2 years ago that he has maintained. He has dinner with Santi and his parents and whoever else who happens to be around the dinner table on any particular night. Santi goes to a public school in Washington DC and had a friend who often went to school hungry so Santi invited him to eat and sleep at his home occasionally. The friend had a friend who had a friend, who had a friend.

On any given Thursday night there might be 15-20 teens crammed around the table. Brooks refers to these teens as charismatic flowers, though they come from hostile soil.
At each meal, something happens that satisfies more than a person’s hunger. A commitment to care for one another is palpable. Each teen has to say something nobody else knows about them—giving them the chance to present their gifts. There is food to satisfy their appetites, and there is the all-important listening heart that every kid needs.

Programs don’t turn around kids’ lives. What changes people is relationships.
Souls are not saved in bundles. Love is the necessary life force.

Pass this story on and, if you are one of the fortunate ones, give thanks for the dinner table you sit at with your family and take note.

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