We Can’t Solve Our Problems if We Can’t Even Sit at the Same Table

What?

Take a few minutes and think about the best times of your life. Times when you were laughing until your sides hurt or were suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude.

How many of those happened around a table?

If you’re like me, the answer is most of them. Not surprising when you think about how much of the southern culture is centered around tables. Especially family gatherings during the holidays.

So What?

The presidential election has caused disagreements on facebook, twitter, and around tables. Families and friends are breaking relationships over who voted for who and which lives matter. Here’s an example from The Daily News. (Click here to read the full article)

“Mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, friends unfriended — it’s been tough for some on opposing sides who must now figure out the way forward. They wonder what their ties will feel like a month from now. A year. What about the holidays?

Leigh Anne O’Connor in Manhattan already has her answer, and her heart broke.

“My dad just called and said he is not coming for Thanksgiving,” she said Thursday. “I cried last night when we hung up.”

He supported President-elect Donald Trump, along with one of her sisters and other relatives. She did not.
“He got into a ‘discussion’ on Facebook with a friend who will be at Thanksgiving and he also read something my oldest daughter wrote against our family members who supported Trump,” O’Connor explained.”

This is bull&*#)! Trump vs Hillary is no excuse for breaking up a family or a long time friendship.

Not only is it pathetic, it’s counter productive. How are we going to solve issues like racism, hunger, abortion, failing school systems, excessive taxes, wasteful government spending, and more if we can’t even sit at the same table with those we disagree with?

Now What?

This is where southern gentlemen everywhere can step in and show the way. Boys get up and storm away from the table when confronted with opinions he doesn’t agree with, southern gentleman stay seated and follow the three keys to treating people with respect:

3 Keys To Treating People With Respect

  1. Disagree without demonizing-Just because a person’s beliefs are the complete opposite for yours does not mean he/she are evil. Assume the best about the person. Believe they think the way they do because they believe their way of thinking will make the world a better place.
  2. Don’t interrupt or dominate- spend more time listening and less time attempting to control the conversation.
  3. Don’t be a jerk-Southern gentleman are known for their manners and around the table is a great place to use them.

My challenge to all of you modern southern gentleman is to set the example. You lead the way. Use these 3 keys to treat people with respect. Not only practice them but pass them along if you get the chance. But there’s no substitute for a man who shows the way.