Maybe some have never experienced a large family potluck. I know many have, however, unfortunately, there are probably some who haven’t. If you’re one of them, I hope as your life proceeds you have the opportunity to do so. A large family potluck provides an excellent analogy for how world economics should operate.
First, everybody should contribute. If not in supplying the food, in helping with the set-up or the clean-up. For the most part though, in my experience, participants either individually or as a component family of the larger family group, bring some kind of food. The result can be the most wonderful, varied, delicious collection of edibles one may have ever seen. A dizzying collection of aromas, colors, textures, and finally tastes. It can be difficult knowing where to start, what to put on one’s plate. Some may pick a selective and limited menu, opting for three or four items. While the plates of others may be a microcosm of the dizzying kaleidoscope of food displayed on the serving table. Large family potlucks can be some of the most wonderful feasts, both of food and of fellowship, that one can experience. As long as everyone is considerate, no one takes an inordinate amount of food, then everyone finds themselves delightfully filled.
But what if someone decided that they were going to take all of one of the items rather than a sampling of many offerings? That would put a crimp in things. Or what if someone said that because they had supplied the dinnerware, all the other family members should pay them an exorbitant fee to participate? Maybe someone in the family invented the fork and they want two-thirds of all the food as recompense? (Maybe they should be sent to their room and told to eat their forks?) Maybe someone is an excellent pastry chef and feels that because they have contributed such excellent pies they should be first in line and allowed to fill five plates; one for now and four for later? Or, maybe the elder family members feel age should determine the serving order and if, after they eat their fill and fill a few take-home containers the younger members can fight over the scraps? Or maybe it’s the reverse and the more youthful, belligerent family members forcibly commandeer the table and to hell with everyone else?
Family potlucks should not, and I venture rarely do, require someone to be the “food police”. Oh, sometimes it may require a parent to admonish a child that, for their own good, they should not just fill up on pie. However, generally everyone recognizes the flow and the balance of the gathering and with appropriate consideration for others, things simply flow smoothly and wonderfully.
Do you see where this is going?