I went to a small dinner last night with five bright people. At social functions, there are four topic that are no-no’s: sex, religion, politics and money. That leaves chit chat, which is fine, but for a nation with ENORMOUS problems, it seemed a wasted opportunity. Here were six well-educated people self-censoring away from any problem that MIGHT have a political solution, like the national debt and the environment.
Come to think of it, I’m not hearing much on the campaign trail about these two issues. Is it that they are so big, so apocalyptic that we are afraid to mention them? Are we children hiding in the closet so the monsters don’t get us?
The reason people don’t talk politics is simple: people get rude. Perhaps we should not talk politics, but we should talk civics, and do so civilly, because we, the people, have a responsibility to solve our nation’s problems. Our government sure isn’t doing it — they’re too busy carrying out the lobbyists agenda. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m an adult in full bloom and some of these problems my generation caused. So my generation needs to put good heads together to solve them.
Besides, there are things individuals can do to help the environment, and kicking around those ideas at millions of dinner tables around the nation could go a long way to solving the problem. People might go home and rig up a drying rack in their garage and cut energy use that way. Or they could check out that new-fangled easy push mowern one guy mentioned, mow the grass, get some exercise and save energy to boot! And think how quiet Saturday mornings would be…
Imagine how many ideas we could generate if each dinner party had a pre-announced issue. People were expected to prepare for the evening, learning all they could about the issues. Then at dinner, we could discuss the origin of the problem over drinks, the scope of the problem over the entree, and potential solutions to the problems over dessert. Let’s hurry and get to dessert. I can come up with lots of solutions to any problem with enough chocolate.