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Old 12-01-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,867,125 times
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For people of faith, mealtime blessings are a time to express gratitude. We Atheists can do the same. I find a person in the gathering and spend the time others are praying to think of something about that person for which I am thankful. Sometime later in the evening I share it with them. It's a nice way to approach life, and it builds relationships. Try it.

A simple example: I think about Aunt Miriam, who remembered that my middle child is a vegetarian and set aside a little extra of her delicious stuffed squash before adding her dish to the buffet, so my daughter would have plenty to eat. Later, I pull aside Aunt Miriam, and tell her how grateful I am for her thoughtfulness.

Easy. I feel good. Aunt Miriam feels good. Everybody's happy.

As for the tradition of sharing that for which you are thankful, here's a short list of gratitude everybody can use. Choose any that apply:

health
work
free time
education/teachers
family
community
the delicious food on the table and the people who labored to make it

Last edited by randomparent; 12-01-2013 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,509 posts, read 3,913,265 times
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I remember one year at a large family gathering I was asked to give the blessing.

I froze.

My mother bailed me out.

*shudder*

I hear ya...
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:55 AM
 
39,083 posts, read 10,842,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
I remember one year at a large family gathering I was asked to give the blessing.

I froze.

My mother bailed me out.

*shudder*

I hear ya...
There's always the Bart Simpson prayer of thanks, but maybe you don't need that kind of trouble.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,867,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
There's always the Bart Simpson prayer of thanks, but maybe you don't need that kind of trouble.
Does every gathering of family or community with people of varying faiths or no faith at all have to involve conflict? Just make a mental grocery list if it's too much to think of something for which you are grateful. Look, I'm also Atheist, but I grow weary of all the made-up awkwardness of a mealtime blessing. It is not a big deal at all. Closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths while others pray is a basic act of tolerance, not a medal-worthy feat of endurance.

Last edited by randomparent; 12-01-2013 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:30 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,961,439 times
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Yes, let's all hold hands with people with colds, the beginning of the flu, or more serious diseases, or touch their junk, scratched their face, changed their baby, etc., just before we eat.

Would stick their fingers in your mouth? But you would hold hands with them and then pick up a dinner roll and stick that in your mouth.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:39 PM
 
40,066 posts, read 26,739,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Does every gathering of family or community with people of varying faiths or no faith at all have to involve conflict? Just make a mental grocery list if it's too much to think of something for which you are grateful. Look, I'm also Atheist, but I grow weary of all the made-up awkwardness of a mealtime blessing. It is not a big deal at all. Closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths while others pray is a basic act of tolerance, not a medal-worthy feat of endurance.
Amen! It seems that for some the idea of being thankful to God is such a strong itch that they need to publicly scratch it regardless who it hurts or offends. That is intolerance at its worst. Tolerance should at the very least stop short of hurting or offending others you should care about.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,113,999 times
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Do any of you read the comic strip "Pearls Before Swine"?

The three main characters are Goat, Pig, and Rat (who is very cynical).

Last week Rat went to a family gathering for Thanksgiving. When they were each asked what they were thankful for, Rat said, "I'm thankful I only have to see you all once a year."
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:28 AM
 
39,083 posts, read 10,842,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Amen! It seems that for some the idea of being thankful to God is such a strong itch that they need to publicly scratch it regardless who it hurts or offends. That is intolerance at its worst. Tolerance should at the very least stop short of hurting or offending others you should care about.
I think the analogy is rather making sure the family regularly scratch it to make sure it doesn't heal up. However, I agree that it is no big deal, provided that NOT joining in saying it isn't made big deal.
But then, this is A/A and it functions as a think tank, discussion group, PR dept. and helpline. Agony Aunts sometimes get asked questions that are no big deal.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:54 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,867,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I think the analogy is rather making sure the family regularly scratch it to make sure it doesn't heal up. However, I agree that it is no big deal, provided that NOT joining in saying it isn't made big deal.
But then, this is A/A and it functions as a think tank, discussion group, PR dept. and helpline. Agony Aunts sometimes get asked questions that are no big deal.
Everyone at the table has a responsibility to be tolerant, so no moaning, wailing, and gnashing of the teeth over the "unsaved" ones, either.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,084,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Yes, let's all hold hands with people with colds, the beginning of the flu, or more serious diseases, or touch their junk, scratched their face, changed their baby, etc., just before we eat.

Would stick their fingers in your mouth? But you would hold hands with them and then pick up a dinner roll and stick that in your mouth.
If they are that sick, they are shedding viruses and spraying bacteria around and holding hands isn't going to make much of a difference one way or the other because you are already swimming in their effluence. By your reasoning you would cocoon way from family and never deal with them at all. If you are that much of a germophobe then excuse yourself to wash your hands after the prayer and before you eat.
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