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MAY 2020

Pen & Mug

A Longer Table



One of my favorite one-liners I've ever heard:


When you have plenty, you can either build a bigger wall or a longer table.


To be clear, "plenty" does not mean "über-wealthy." Plenty means you have more than you need to meet your basic needs.


You have "plenty" if you can share dollars, or a meal, or a couple hours of your time and talents without emptying that resource down to nothing for yourself. I'd also argue you have plenty if you have certain societal privileges, or a voice and an audience.


If you have "plenty" of any resource, (most of us qualify in more than one category), you have enough of that resource to build with it. So, what are you going to build? Are you going to build walls to create separation and lift yourself above others, and shout your ideas down at them without hearing their reply? Or will you build bridges and tables and welcome new conversations and connections?


I think more than ever we are all in desperate need of human connection, from the loneliness we feel in pandemic isolation to the lack of racial understanding and equality that we're seeing boil over in communities across the USA.


The world needs more, longer tables.


Austin
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