Thinking about Hospitality (repost)

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In the wake of the Presidential election, I’m even more thoughtful about community building and neighborliness than before. It’s easy to assume the country is close and united when we have two moderate candidates in the running, but throughout this election cycle, I’ve been stunned by the differences in mindsets among the candidates, and by the closeness of the races: the country is divided.

I know that there are some disagreements that getting to know each other cannot solve. I know that being political is not a good way to run a food blog or host a dinner party or any of the things I claim. But I do think that talking to each other, knowing people whose experiences are different from our own, seems to be one of the only chances for getting out of this mess. Half of America is a stranger to the other half; they need to have each other over for dinner.

For this reason, part of my upcoming thoughts on the blog are going to shift toward discussing modern hospitality and how people talk to strangers around them. I want to keep talking about food, because I think we are all so united when it comes to food and wanting to belong. However, I think that the ability to be isolated and self-reliant but miserable is higher than it ever has been in the United States, and I want to be a part of figuring out where we need to come together. So many books talk about how we are desperate to connect to each other, that disconnection causes so much pain and ruin. I would submit there has to be a place where people are brought together who disagree with each other, who can eat together and maybe let down some of their most emotionally-held beliefs for a little while.

This blog has always been about forming community with my friends and family; I just think that this election cycle shows that I need to move beyond that, to strangers and political opponents and people I don’t understand. We all have to live together, after all.

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2 comments on “Thinking about Hospitality (repost)

  1. KR says:

    Wonderful thoughs. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  2. Kathryn H. says:

    Yes, it’s easier in some ways–and more natural–to develop true friendship gradually in person in settings like what you’re describing. We slowly reveal our more personal, emotional, and strong beliefs to the degree that it’s appropriate with these individuals–not en masse. That is so often completely lost online and in highly charged, like-minded groups where people say what comes to mind, unfiltered. I think we’re losing the simple social graces that used to allow people with true differences to live closely as neighbors with respect for each other and appreciation for what they did hold in common. I’m looking forward to your exploring “modern hospitality.” Putting others at ease in our presence and making them feel special is an art!

    Liked by 1 person

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