Shared meals are good for personal well-being, and I'd like to posit that they're vital for civil society. Yes, online forums can host healthy debate, but they also make it easy for people to dehumanize others. Can someone who writes a nasty comment or an antagonizing tweet say exact same words to another’s face while ladling soup from the same pot?
Let's be honest: Potlucks are nothing new, but we need them now more than ever. After the most contentious and divisive election in recent history, we need more ways to come together. We need more venues for people to share ideas and experiences—and, more importantly, to listen to them. Potlucks give people a chance to gather in a low-key way, and the act of bringing a dish to share gives everyone an easy conversation starter. "What did you make?" "Is that a family recipe?" "My aunt is Cuban, too!" And on it goes, until you find yourself discussing something deeply meaningful or even challenging with another fellow human being.
As I mention throughout this site, I'm on a mission to get people around the table more and to start a potluck movement. If you'd like to stay updated about events and receive the occasional inspiring story, please join the Potluck Nation email list. If you'd like to share a story with me, please get in touch! To help plan a potluck, download a copy of "Potluck Nation: A Checklist for Organizers."