Current Affairs

Gracious Welcoming Speech for Holiday Gatherings

Worrying about family members and friends at Thanksgiving when politics and hot issues come up?  Try this welcome speech I have written for you:

“Welcome to our home.  I am so thankful for you, my family and friends, who have so much in common and yet are so very diverse and different.  We want our home to be a gracious place where everyone can be who he or she is.  Living in an increasingly divided and polarized world, we often avoid sharing who we are and our beliefs during holiday gatherings fearing that we might cause conflict or trouble.  But if we don’t share these things about ourselves, we will be further alienated from each other.  Having honest conversations is not about winning an argument. It is about achieving understanding without having to agree with each other.  So, when difficult topics come up, and they will, I invite you to practice these guidelines:   Don't tell them they are wrong; ask them what value led them there. Don't say, "Yeah, but, what about…?”; say "Huh, interesting, tell me more . . ." Don't ask how they could ever believe something; ask when that belief first started for them.  Don't interrupt people; let people finish their thought.    Don't try to assume you know their motives; ask about their goals and hopes.  Don't blame them for your anger or frustration; explain your frustration and take responsibility for it by using an "I" statement. Can we agree on this?  Now go and have great conversations and happy Thanksgiving."

This will feel strange and unnatural, but remember you are the host and you set the ground rules in your home. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Rev. Dr. Eric H. F. Law, DD

Founder and Innovator

Kaleidoscope Institute

for diverse and sustainable communities

p.s. check out the latest music album "Better Angels" by Eric H. F. Law at:

Thanksgiving art











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