What does it mean to invite someone to your table?
Tomorrow, most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a non-denominational holiday intended to be inclusive. And for many of us, it is.
But what happens on holidays like this for people who won’t have a seat at the table?
There are so many reasons people may feel alone today. Maybe they live too far from family, or maybe they’re new in town.
I remember when I was going through my divorce from my daughters’ father, I realized I would be spending my first Thanksgiving alone. I hadn’t anticipated the feelings of sadness, loneliness, and loss.
Post-workout one day, I mentioned my situation to a woman in the locker room as we were getting ready for work. It was funny how our “locker room talk” opened up a shared vulnerability.
To my surprise, without even a pause, she invited me to join her family gathering. That thoughtful acceptance and inclusion created a spark between us, which developed into an unexpected friendship.
One of the antonyms of “alone” is “with friends” — how beautiful is that?
Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, it’s probably too late to include others at your table. However, here are a few small things you can do to create unexpected and meaningful moments of inclusion in your world:
- Get outside of your bubble: invite someone who isn’t just like you (culture, family, religion, etc.) to your proverbial “table”.
- Think about times when you were invited to someone’s table and send them a note sharing how meaningful it was to you.
- If you have kids in your life, talk to them about including others who might otherwise not be included at their lunch table or to a play date.
Share it big: tell the world your #OneSmallThing Thanksgiving story by sharing it on social media.
Share it small: if you want more of an intimate connection, send your story directly to friends, family, or colleagues via email/text/phone.
Share it with me: I’m building a collection of these small actions that turn out to have real value and meaning for others. I hope you will share your stories with me by sending me a note.