I had lunch yesterday with a friend from my church. It was actually a get-to-know-you-better meeting, as we’ve crossed paths a number of times at different events and activities, and realized that we have many interests and values in common. Even from brief conversations and from tidbits and snippets of information we’ve shared, we knew we wanted to learn more about each other.

It was a lovely lunch, the kind where it takes a while to order because you start talking right away and find that the more you do, the more you have to say – and the more you want to learn. Then it takes a while to finish eating, for the same reason. She was interested in hearing about my work in Uganda, and I was fascinated by everything she does at our church, and all the people she has worked with in one way or another.

By the time we were finished, she had mentioned several people that she plans to put me in touch with – people with interests and expertise that may be able to help me in my work. And I had mentioned several books and workshops that may help her with future programs.

We intend to get together again soon, and I’m sure that when we do, we’ll discover even more interests we have in common. We’ll learn of more talents and traits we admire in each other. And we’ll likely find more ways to help and support each other’s activities and goals.

I turned the radio on in my car as I drove home from lunch, and listened to the day’s latest clashes, conflicts, and blame games among our leaders in Washington. I find it extremely frustrating to listen to the news these days, and it was even more so today as I was driving home from such a pleasant and productive lunchtime meeting.

It occurred to me that the people governing our country would be a lot more productive – not to mention pleasant – if they did what my friend and I did. They would also relearn something I’m sure they used to know, but have long ago forgotten, which is that they could accomplish a great deal by going out to lunch together, listening to and learning about each other’s interests, activities, and values, and looking for ways to help each other achieve their goals. This would benefit not only both of them, but all of us – which is what they’re supposed to be doing.

By the way, the food my friend and I had for lunch yesterday was delicious. But that was just the icing on the cake, so to speak.

I’m sure it would be the same in Washington.

February 2, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018

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