The Family Table

There is no better classroom
than the family table.
– Kaye Earle

Michigan, United States

Researchers have confirmed what parents have known
for a long time;
sharing a family meal is good for the spirit,
the brain and the health of all family members.

– Anne Fishel, Ph.D.


Kolkata, India


The family is the nucleus of civilization.
– Will Durant



Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Skopje, Macedonia

In family life, love is the oil that eases friction,
the cement that binds closer together, and
the music that brings harmony.
– Eva Burrows

Phu Tho, Vietnam


Other things may change us,
but we start and end with the family.  

– Anthony Brandt


Sri Lanka


Pagman, Afghanistan

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

– Jane Howard



Indonesia during monsoon season

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you,
but at the same time you carry them with you
in your heart, your mind, your stomach,

because you do not just live in a world.
A world lives in you. 

– Frederick Buechner


Baluchistan, Pakistan



Our family dinner table was like Speakers’ Corner in London.  
We  discussed, debated, argued, declaimed –
all of us at the same time.
– E. Thomson Earle


It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens,
that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments,
sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers,
stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.
– Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Budapest, Hungary

I wonder if I love the communal act of eating so much
because throughout my childhood,

with four older brothers and a mom who worked in the restaurant business,
I spent a lot of
time fending for myself, eating alone – and
recognizing how eating together made all the difference.

– Thomas Keller



20 thoughts on “The Family Table

  1. That’s one of the things I miss most about the holidays – dinner with my parents and brother. The smell of the food. The conversations and laughs we would have. Anticipation of dessert. We would sit at the table together and talk. It was just a common thing that we did as a family. We didn’t do it because there were psychological tips that said we should. It just seemed to come naturally.

  2. An exceptional collection of images and a vital message. The quotes by Mitch Albom and Thomas Keller sum it up so well. Thank you, Steve, for another moving post.

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