Readers’ Forum: Take politics off the menu

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Everywhere we turn these days, politics looms ominously. A herald for the contention that inevitably follows in its wake. Is there any shelter from the storm? 

The honest answer is no, there isn’t. Whether it’s a family reunion, hanging out with friends on campus or scrolling on your phone for memes at 2 a.m. when you should be getting a good night’s rest before your midterm, politics is always waiting around the corner. In a moment’s notice, silence can become awkward, feelings get hurt and relationships are strained. I’ve seen it countless times as I’m sure you have as well.

I think we could all use a break from the political minefield we always find ourselves strolling through. Am I implying we just stop talking about politics all together? Of course not, I’m not some aspiring dictator who hates freedom of speech. We talk about politics to make needed changes in the world, and I am by no means suggesting we stop changing and growing as a society. I am simply suggesting we create a politics-free safe zone, and I think the dinner table is the perfect locale. 

The dinner table is the place we gather with loved ones. Therefore, it is ideally the place that we should feel safest, but all too often controversy has set his own place at the head of my table. I can think of no better time to leave contentious topics behind than the one time of day I’m practically guaranteed to be surrounded by those I care about. If we focus for just one hour everyday solely upon uplifting and cheerful topics with friends and family, just imagine how much more endurable the rest of the divided world will seem.

Making your table a safe zone is often as easy a process as stating, “I don’t like talking politics at the table.” I think that everyone at your table will be hard pressed to find an aspect of politics so urgent that it cannot wait an hour to be discussed in a different setting.

I just want a place we can all take a well-deserved rest from politics, and I think our dinner tables are an effective and easy place to do so. Build that safe zone in your house. See if your outlook doesn’t get a little bit brighter and your relationships a little stronger.

Brycen Baxter
Cumming, Georgia

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