The quick answer: Cooking family dinner may be a chore, but it’s also the best virtuous cycle of your life.
You’re heard of the vicious cycle—where bad leads to worse. Bad food, for example, robs you of energy, thus robbing you of the energy needed to eat better. Smoking cigarettes is a classic vicious cycle that leads to addiction and premature death. Now that I think of it, addictions are often a factor in vicious cycles.
Setting the table the other day, I knocked over the Beautiful Wife’s orchid. When I saw the broken plant on the floor I said a bad word. At the ill-spoken utterance a silence descended upon the room. I silently vowed to do better but the good feeling of the moment was lost.
Fortunately we have virtuous cycles—where doing good leads to even better. Eating well gives energy to eat better. Exercise stimulates a plethora of good outcomes. Service to others bestows a basket of blessings upon the giver. Know what I mean?
The secret to a good life is to maximize your virtuous cycles and minimize those pesky vicious cycles. Ever notice how the Word of Wisdom helps that happen? Which brings us to a classic virtuous cycle—the family dinner.
In this post we discussed ten criteria of an ideal family dinner. Check them out. No other daily event has so much potential as a virtuous cycle in your home. And most likely, with a little effort, the beneficial power of your family dinner can be enhanced.
We noted the virtuous cycle benefit of service above. Maybe the most beneficial service you’ll ever donate is cooking the family dinner. And when the children are grown up and gone away, those dinners will be among your best memories.
In this post we talked about family dinner for singletons. It’s not easy to eat well when you eat alone but you might consider the example of Judith Jones. Jones made her fame in the publishing world when she pulled a book from the reject pile back in 1950. It was the memoir of a girl who died before she could make her mark in life—The Dairy of Anne Frank. She later became Julia Child’s publisher. After the death of her husband, Jones had to learn to cook for one. Here’s what she said:
“Learning to like cooking alone is an ongoing process. But the alternative is worse.
She also wrote a charming book about cooking alone titled The Pleasures of Cooking For One. I recommend it. Jones was also good about inviting other singletons to dinner.
Please Comment: Please share your best family dinner practices and ideas. This is a topic where everyone has expertise so please, lots of comments.