One of my friends, Emily, has a strange meal routine with her kids. When you eat meals with them, you can see a jar at the center of the table. It’s empty every morning, but filled to the brim in the evening with pieces of white paper that are hastily rolled. When I first experienced it, I was there for a job. Emily needed help with a company project and she hired me for it. I arrived during breakfast and was promptly invited to join her, her husband, and her five kids. I didn’t want to ask about it at first. Until I saw one of the kids drop something on the jar while Emily was flipping pancakes.
The strange thing was, she didn’t even seem to look surprised upon seeing the jar with a note. When everyone left, I just had to ask what it was about. Emily said it was for food requests and food compliments. Anyone was required to give constructive comments about the food. Anyone whose comments about the food seemed sincere, he or she will get her request for breakfast the next day. I thought it was quite cool. It’s a way of learning things and at the same time gave the kids a sense of responsibility. We had cheese grits the next day. From the look on her husband’s face, it seemed he had won.
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