While I count my blessings this holiday season, I want you to know that you are among them. Thank you for your support, your sharing, and your constant questions that keep me on my toes! Each of you is deeply appreciated.
Our country has become terribly divided. This year when families gather together there will be conflict. At the family table, everyone should feel comfortable. The American Indians used the “talking stick” to give everyone a chance to speak their peace. This year I would suggest that you use a brass bell. The sound of metal is an excellent cure for many causes of tension in a room. Chiming clocks, piano music, all these can help. But, if everyone is to be heard, using a brass bell around the dinner table may be the best option.
The rules are simple. Whoever is holding the bell gets to talk without interruption until they’ve said their peace. (maybe a 5-minute limit should be enforced) When they’re done, the bell is rung and then is passed to the next person, who rings the bell before and after he speaks. I would also suggest to the group that while people are speaking we listen carefully and use our own time to address any concerns. The bell can be passed around until everyone is satisfied that their points have been understood correctly.
This year the spirit of Thanksgiving may be more important than ever before. Our blessings are many and our problems can be worked out.
Above all, let’s be grateful for what we have while striving to be the best we can be. And remember…if nothing else…at least you’re not the turkey.