1/24/08

More Dinner Talk - tradition turning to habit!

Our dinner conversation on Monday night wasn’t our usual, “go around the room and ask how your day was,” type of discussion. Instead we talked about Martin Luther King and racism.

Not only did we have our whole family at the table, we had extra kids, with it being a holiday. Their faces came alive during our discussion, as we talked about how King was stabbed in the chest in NYC during a book signing. And how the surgeon, with a burst of inspiration, made the incision over King’s heart in the shape of a cross! The doctor had to remove one of King’s ribs, and part of his breastbone, to get the knife free!

We talked about how King and his wife tried to enroll their children in a white school, and a mob beat him with chains and brass knuckles and stabbed his wife in the hip!

Martin Luther King said, “Segregation is a tragic evil that is unchristian.”

This set us off in a new direction as well! What did he mean – “unchristian?”

Yes, the dining room was full of energetic and passionate discussion on Monday night! One of the girls (new at the Coughlin table) even turned to Paul and said, Our family doesn’t do this! I wish we did!”

I’m thankful for the legacy of Martin Luther King. And I’m also thankful for the legacy that Paul and I are leaving in our own little home. The legacy of great dinner conversation, and the habit that it has become - even with new friends around that table.

I’m wondering what kinds of discussions were taking place around other dinner tables on Monday Night?

(For an interesting post on how we (parents) are our "Own Biographers," you can read about it here. Or about "The Table," here. Or "Teen Talk," here.)

10 comments:

momrn2 said...

Monday night our conversation was not as energy packed and lively as yours sounds. I can't even remember the actual discussion right off.

However, I do know we had dinner together and talked... and for that I am grateful and blessed!

tearjerker said...

My children are still quite small, so discussions like these are still quite over their heads. Having a background in History (trained to be a history teacher, in fact, just not teaching at the present moment), reading this makes me crave discussions like these.

Dawn said...

This was interesting- I did not know about King's wife being stabbed also. Your children are so blessed to have these kinds of conversations with their parents at the dinner table.

Jen said...

Sometimes we will take conversation starters and put them in a bowl and let the kids pick one or two and discuss. Miller is only 2 but somehow he gets involved and I'm with you on the dinner and conversation,...your kids will always remember it and be grateful to you for it.

Michele said...

We have a special box of Conversation Starters based around values such as respect, honesty, faith, commitment, etc (from Once Upon a Family)...Each night one person picks the question and starts the discussion. It is great to see the depth of thinking at our table even from our 7 year old. We include whatever guests we have in the discussion as well. Great job at your home, Sandy! Keep up the great discussions:)

Christine said...

I look forward to the days when we can have more intelligent conversation than, "Elliot, stop banging your fork on the table!"

:)

I'd love to sit at your table too! What a wonderful place to be!

Nunnie's Attic said...

We don't normally discuss current (or past)events at the dinner table. How sad is that? I just realized our dinner conversations are mostly about what every one did that day. Thanks for the inspiration.

Love,
Julie

linda t said...

Waaay cool Sandy!
You truly inspire us all to be more intentional around our dinner tables and I am forever grateful!

Kirstin said...

This is one thing that we have "lacked" in. Especially right now that we don't really have a table to eat around (living in someone elses house and the table is always full of stuff)...but something I really want to implement. I love your ideas!

Tara said...

Sounds like some wonderful dinner conversation. It's amazing how just a small amount of effort to break out of "the norm" can yield such interesting and memorable results. I know I'm feeling inspired. Thanks!