Today I had the pleasure of being a lead on our school's Freshman retreat where students are immersed in service around the topic of dignity and respect in the Tenderloin. For lunch, students ate in solidarity with the community in the Tenderloin at a local dining hall where most if not all of the guests are homeless or in a need of warm meal.
Again, in the evening, students were joined with parents eating dinner together and sharing stories from the day including the struggles as well as the graces they experienced throughout the day during their retreat.
Gathering around a table and sharing food brings people together physically, mentally and emotionally.
"Sharing food with others brings a wealth of benefits. These moments help us make friends, find love and end hostility.
Breaking bread together is a way to remove barriers and helps us explore new cultures and build stronger relationships when we socialise. "
What if parents and teachers gathered around a table and broke bread (at the beginning of the school year, before the mid-year assessment, and at the end of the year to reflect on the student growth)
At the table they would discuss the following:
a. What were times you struggled and were challenged in school?
b. What were the graces or points you noticed you grew?
c. What do grades mean to you (the student, the parent and the teacher should respond)
" [breaking bread] emphasises the values of hospitality, neighbourliness and a respect for diversity.
It brings people of all ages, conditions and social classes together, aiming not only to eat but to share knowledge, culture and mutual respect.
This is a chance to have your elders pass on their stories to your children, and for your family to meet people outside the nucleus, such as friends and neighbours."
Let's gather around the table in solidarity and strengthen relationships around nourishment for our bodies and our minds!