Monday, April 15, 2013

Passing the Bread test

I used to be a journalist, and maybe, 40 years ago, if I was in the midst of it, I didn't notice the headlines. Referring to the Boston bombings, I do.

So many journalists are young. I felt a touch of reality when the people reporting this attack almost lost it when they commented how volunteer first responders were overcome by blasted feet, legs, arms and bodies. The reporters were, too, and were genuine in their reports. They let their own shock through, too. Good.

I understand there are those already making jokes about it. These are very immature, dysfunctional or emotionally dead folks. Do these same folk make jokes about tornadoes and hurricanes?

They aren't invited to my home to break bread.

Funny. I am pretty tolerant except about this: I will not break bread with you unless I have made peace with you. If I have not, I am not looking to cause you trouble. Neither will I break bread, support you, or vouch for you. I will do nothing to cause you harm. I will do nothing if harm comes your way. Children different. That has nothing to do with you. I refuse to break bread with so very few, they probably don't realize I am not doing it. I'm not a showoff. It seems somehow archaic on my part.

But if you eat at my table, or I at yours, we must have some amity. I am a fat old LOL. And I don't want to go to war.

Just know, if ever you are at my table and I pass you the bread, you are pretty high in my book.


J.R.Shirley said...

I tend to fall on the Arabic hospitality idea. I might not invite you to eat with me, but I would extend hospitality to anyone present, whether they were a friend or even an enemy. And anyone I am extending hospitality to is under my protection while they are with me.

Because...well, I am in some ways a violent man, I suppose. I haven't kicked the bodies, but I have evidently killed a lot of people. But, perhaps especially in the very worst of times, our social rituals, the politeness with which we hopefully treat each other, preserves our humanity. I think it is no accident that Japan, which had hundreds of years of continuous conflict on a relatively small land space, has developed one of the most elaborately polite societies in existence.

charlotte g said...

I do like the concept. If you are hungry and you are in need, I will feed you, I just won't break bread. This seems to have grown over my lifetime. Can't attribute it to any belief system. And I may have to revisit this. I believe so deeply in courtesy. It is the core of respect.