Dinner With Others

It started in a coffee shop in Everett, Washington.  Unity in Lynnwood’s Nadine Pierre, Board Chair, Rev. Nina Clark, Associate Minister and Dr. Richard Loren Held, Spiritual Director, met to give rise to an idea.  Central to that idea was the human tendency to fear the other (in any of its countless forms) resulting in a clumsiness at best, or an outright inability at worst, to have meaningful conversation.

And in that clumsiness or inability, the fear goes unchallenged and the chasm among members of a single human family widens.

We invited Rabbi Ted Falcon into the conversation.  The author of Judaism for Dummies and a founder of The Interfaith Amigos, Rabbi Ted has worked in the Interfaith world for decades.  And with a healthy nod to the work of The Amigos:

 

It seems that humanity is taking sides, building teams, gathering arms and growing apart - that humanity is creating “others” with unprecedented vigor and animosity.

In our belief that this effective dehumanization of each “other,” whether that otherness is born of race, religion, orientation, gender, politic, age or otherwise, is counter to the very evolution of us as a planetary family, we invite you to join us for Dinner with Others.*

Share a story.  Shake a hand.  Laugh.  Eat.  Connect.

Let us rehumanize each other, as brothers and sisters at a global table, for the greater good of all.

*All guests will be asked to check positionality with the attendant at the door.  All convincing and converting, all self-righteousness and self-importance, all aggressiveness and argumentativeness can be picked up upon exit, if-desired.  Otherwise, leave them.  We’ll be happy to dispose of them for you.

Dinner with Others Questions

Questions on “Dinner with Others I” Cards - "What Divides Us?"

1. Have you ever found it difficult to relate to someone who was either much wealthier or much poorer than you? What happened? What were the consequences? What would you have wished to have been different? What did you learn?

2. Have you ever felt discriminated against because of your gender? Have you ever witnessed another having this difficulty? What happened? What was your response? What do you wish had happened? What did you learn?

3. Have you ever dealt with someone when it became clear that a difference in your education made communication more difficult? What happened? What might you have wished could have happened? What did you learn?

4. Have you ever been discriminated against because of your race? Have you ever witnessed another being discriminated against? What was your response? What happened? What do you wish you could have done? What did you learn?

5. Have you ever felt separate from someone because of a difference in your religious identification or your religious beliefs? What happened? What were the consequences? What do you wish might have happened? What did you learn?

6. Have you ever felt discriminated against because of your nationality? Have you witnessed another having such difficulties? What happened? What did you do? What might you now wish you had done? What did you learn?

7. We often feel different from others because of age differences. Have you ever felt that you didn’t fit in because of your age? Have you ever witnessed another having this kind of difficulty? What happened? What were the consequences? What do you wish you had done? What did you learn?

8. In a population as divided as ours politically, it is rare that we can avoid conflicts with others. Have you ever experienced conflicts rising from differing political priorities? What happened? What were the consequences? What do you wish might have happened? What did you learn?

9. Different work situations often involve different vocabulary, different social status, and different financial rewards. Have you ever been in a situation in which you experienced being separate from others whose employment realities were different from your own? What happened? What were the consequences? What did you learn?

10. Illness often separates us from others. Have you ever had the experience of feeling separate either because you or another was not well? What was the situation? What happened? What do you wish could have happened? What did you learn?

11. Those of us who are disabled in one way or another often have special challenges navigating our environment and feel separate from others. Have you ever been disabled yourself or had to deal with another who was? What happened? What did you do? What do you wish you had done? What did you learn?

12. We are different from each other in many ways and can feel separate because we think we are too tall, too short, too skinny, too heavy, too awkward…. Have you ever had the experience of feeling uncomfortably different in your body, or have you been with those who did? What happened? What did you do? What do you wish you had done? What did you learn?

Two Questions for Dinner Conversations

When have you felt most different from those around you? When have you felt like you simply didn’t belong? What happened? What were the consequences? Is there anything you wish you had done differently? What did you learn?

When have you felt most connected to those around you? When have you felt that you most belonged? What happened? What were the consequences? Is there anything you wish you had done differently? What did you learn?

Dinner with Others 1 is the first in a sequential series.  Please write DrRichard@UnityinLynnwood.org for more information or for your complete packet!