“The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.” GK Chesterton
Why do I, an entrepreneur, care about post-modernism? I just watched a video of philosopher James KA Smith speaking about it and think it offers market context (and hope) for our vision for Peace Dinners.
He starts by defining Modernism in its broadest sense as having roots in the Enlightenment and defining an age which finds value in ‘rational’ thought and ‘reason.’ He, perhaps provocatively, suggests its characterized by an intentional ‘setting aside’ of particular traditions, cultures, and religions as an unhelpful bias to rational/objective thought. This is where we live in western culture these recent centuries.
He suggests emerging post-modernism in its broadest sense is to recognize that ‘rational thought’ is itself a bias and in fact we necessarily are biased by our specific time, culture, religion, geography, education. And further its helpful to our growth as a society to seek and recognize value in the uniqueness of our own story (and others) within a public discourse, ie seeking truth through pluralistic discourse vs rational objectivity.
How is this helpful for us? Peace Dinners is an experiment to invite you (and Greater Boston) to join community (and around the family dinner table) to experience unique culture through healthy food from diverse culture, traditions, and families…while growing in relationship (we ultimately hope) with people who have a very different life story. I hope for Peace Dinners to not only simplify meal planning and explore diverse food traditions, but further offer a means to explore our concerns for our families, community, and country through actual relationships…and can our lives be better for it…even help us discover our own value and power within that broader context?
For example, Mahinder has shared her food with us the last two weeks (btw – please let me know what you think of the Goat Curry this week). She was a bit nervous being new to the project and having only cooked meals for family previously. Her husband, a hardworking busy guy, spent several hours each day in the kitchen to offer support (and his expertise…based on years in the food biz). I, from my own unique family and career background, found huge personal value in seeing a man support his wife this way.
One more: Asmait said recently that life here in America is much easier in some ways and harder in other ways than in her native Ethiopia. She said its hard to care for her 3 kids all day with her other responsibilities. She pondered that in her hometown the women would do even more work (no electric appliances), but it felt less lonely and hard, b/c all her friends were together: taking care of kids, working, and taking time out for the traditional coffee ceremony. That sounds really appealing to me…how can my life be different/better knowing that part of her story?
So I wonder if Peace Dinners is a post-modern business. We seek to build authentic peaceful relationship with our customers, community, and ourselves…while offering a forum for pluralistic discussion. What do you think? What are ways you see that we can be a better host for diverse community and pluralistic discussion?