I began this article earlier in the week, and I was so incensed by the new mass shootings that I ranted and raved, and then I said the Serenity Prayer. I suggest if you are upset as well, that prayer does wonders, if you follow it.
You will be getting a quieter article now. Whew!
A reader told me a sweet story about a family table that had unique features, and since no one in the family wanted it, they donated it to a great local cause, and suggested I use the story about tables as a lesson for all of us. Thank you, dear friend.
When we think about tables, in general we think of ours in our homes, and the many purposes they serve. Of course, the meal table is used the most and it serves so many tasks. Meals, projects, conversations, small coffee clubs, homework, meal prep, and serious business deals. Make you own list and it goes on.
We need to have more family meals at that table (cellphones in a basket!). Family conferences can be held there, and tough issues can be discussed with fairness for all. If the kids know they are safe to talk there, a closeness develops, and they carry it the rest of their lives. The sacred table.
Of course, the famous Last Supper picture of a table spread for a special religious meal, tells so many stories, and at that moment in Christian history, that meal signified the very end and the very beginning. It is a picture of a simple meal among friends. But, we know the rest.
Our tables can be the beginning of our stories. Our children can take them away with them and begin their own table talks. Restaurants can serve as substitutes, and over a hamburger, a young person can share a lot, if you help it happen.
These tables are a place to sit down and rest, after hard work; a place to spread our stuff out and really look at things; a sturdy surface to put our head on our arms and just cry until we are done; and a place for others to join us to comfort, soothe and encourage to try again, learn again, and then move on.
World conflicts can and are discussed at certain tables and can build resolutions that save millions of lives. I propose that leaders sit down at a table and resolve to end the mass shootings, and they must stay there until the shootings stop. If they begin again, back to the table they go!
Use your table as you choose, but I suggest starting the gathering with the Serenity Prayer, silently or together aloud. The words are powerful.
You have to be kind, after you say those words. Thank you all.
Note to readers: Nedda Simon of rural Princeton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.