I remember my mom getting upset when I ate too fast. She would tell me how long it took her to cook the meal and how fast I plowed through it. Of course, it was also better for my health to slow down, but really, it was her feeling that I wasn’t grateful for her work of cooking a meal. These days I love lingering over food and conversation, and when I’m in a restaurant where I barely get to finish my plate before it’s taken away, I get frustrated. Looking around, I often see people rushing to eat, partly on their phones while doing so, and barely engaging and rarely noticing the people who serve them their meal, let alone say thank you. 

The other day, I sat with a friend discussing something frustrating. I paused for a moment to reset my thinking and refocus my mind because all I needed was to vent briefly; I didn’t actually need to talk about the issue. Instead, I shifted my attention and said, ” Thank you for listening. I just needed to voice it. ” Then we shifted our conversation to having much to be grateful for, starting with the simple fact that we were safe.

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Originally published on November 25, 2023 at