Thursday, October 30, 2008

Narrowing One's Choices to Build Connections in a Broken World

This week I was inspired by an excerpt in the The Week magazine,"Why we hate us", by Richard Meyer, from his book by the same title. Meyer describes, quite accurately I think, how American society is breaking down and we are left frustrated and angry. The reason? We've cut ourselves adrift from tradition and one another.

At the close of the excerpt, however, he offers an idea on how he is taking a small but brilliant step to remedy the problem. He does it on his lunch break. Meyer recalls how it started with ordering a sandwich:

"...The sandwich had tomato on it. I asked for no tomato.

I vowed to never, ever buy lunch on a workday from a stranger again...So now I get lunch from Frank, Art, or Tommy, guys I have come to be friends with who run three different places. I like them...Lunch is now a social part of my day, and I feel like I work in a real neighborhood, which it really isn't. I love being a regular. I love purposefully limiting my choices instead of expanding them...I don't ever hate lunch anymore. I consider lunch one of my greatest triumphs."

-From Why We Hate Us by Dick Meyer. Crown Publishers, 2008.

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