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I've got to say that this has been quite an extraordinary day. I participated in a very innovative idea to foster and engender a sense of communit. To paraphrase, it was the sheer genius of factoring it down to the lowest common denominator which, in this instance, was FOOD.
And who better to do the factoring in this medium that Bruce Bogartz at Rouxbarb
He probably had an idea about what he wanted to impart to the guests and what he wanted them to leave with and take into the community when he was planinning and pulling this event together.
The structure was simple about 40 or so invited guests come to a sit-down dinner, dine with people they didn't know and while partaking of a very simple yet exquisite meal (WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ROUXBARB, REMEMBER) in family style service, big tables, lots of people good food passed amongst each other, lives touched and a small step in the direction of letting down barriers that keep us from feeling connected to our neighbors was made by something as simple as fried chicken, ribs, potato salad and warm Rhubard, blackberry and peach cobbler washed down with watermelon lemonade and mint sweet tea and other beverages to his/her choice.
Asking the stranger next to you to pass the potato salad or freshly whipped cream for the cobbler goes a long way toward breaking down the barriers we create to keep ourselves from being involved with anyone not in our normal circles.
And it's just so easy it's neutral it's FOOD!
It's not political, it's not socio-economic it's not racial it's JUST FOOD! GENIUS!
Each person who sat down at the table and shared a meal with people they did not know today at Rouxbarb had the opportunity to broaden their own experience by listening to other people describe the "elephant" in the other room.
The end of it, I believe, if what was started this day can be sustained, is an atmosphere structured by a Maestro adept at plying the best out of us all as human beings with the most common of denominators... FOOD.
I think that each of the paricipants, named as mentors in this first of hopefully a steady schedule of events, left out with a different sense of what could be accomplished within a proactive thriving community.
From hearing, examining and contemplating another person's perspective, the horizon of interaction and possibilities for success within the community as a whole is exponentially increased.
Who would have thought it? A master at creating just what you wanted before you even wanted it and making it taste exactly the way you would have asked for it if you only knew you wanted it and an altruistic genius to boot!
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