Have you ever really thought about how sharing a meal or a cup of coffee can change your life?
When you sit down with your family over dinner – which I know doesn’t always happen since Amara has soccer and Kingston has basketball – you engage in conversation, laughter, fun and interaction, which all provide you with opportunities. Opportunities to learn, share and grow.
There are plenty of statistics telling us why it’s important to eat meals together as a family, but how does that relate to us personally? The fact is, we’ve all had those moments, ones that have changed our lives, during a conversation had while sharing a meal with a friend or loved one. Food is a common thread that everyone shares.
While other cultures may be eating different food, all around the world you’ll find the same thing happening: People are building community through comradery & relationships that are built around eating. When you share a meal with someone you are letting them into your personal space. You let your guard down, you engage with them by exchanging stories and learning about their life. I don’t know how many times I have been at a function or a gathering with friends and there are people there who I don’t know, but come to realize things we have in common, like our children having the same birthday, and it leads to a new friendship. At first glance, you might not think you can relate to someone, but then discover that they’re not actually all that different.
Even though you and I aren’t directly sharing a meal as I write, while snacking on grapes, you may be sitting there reading this while eating a chocolate bar. (I should have chocolate instead of these grapes lol) So, now I feel the need to share a story that a friend told me recently about building community.
(See how that works? Eating & sharing stories – they go hand in hand)
So, my friend traveled down south on vacation. While enjoying a tropical fruity drink with her spouse, another couple sat down beside them. Their casual conversation turned into changing dinner plans to share a meal together. They found out they were all Canadian and only lived a couple of hours apart, their daughters had similar names, the women both worked in the same industry, and the list went on. As the trip came to an end, a new friendship had begun. They kept in contact for the 5 years since. My friend started a business during that time and has since brought on that new friend as part of the team. One drink, one meal and many, many laughs turned into so very much more.
So, the next time you’re breaking bread with others, soak it all in and make small talk with a new face because you never can tell what adventure you may be involved in that started over a meal.
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