What would you do?

If you prepared supper for someone and they didn’t show up?

What would you do if someone sent you a book as a present, but you already owned that book? Would you tell them or just say thank you?

What would you do if someone sent you an email obviously intended for someone else? Would you reply and correct them, revealing that you are privy to information you probably shouldn’t have, or would you erase it?

If you are in a restaurant waiting for your lunch meeting with a colleague and they are 20 minutes late, should you order or wait for them?

If your friend brings wine to dinner should you open it or cellar it?

What would you do if you witnessed a beautiful family of First Nations people worshipping on a sacred rock? Would you respect their privacy or reach out to them?

Should you keep friends who have completely different views about life, politics and religion, or stay in touch despite your differences?

If you have vegetarian friends should you eat meat in front of them and blatantly enjoy it?

If a family member is doing something you hate should you let it ride or confront them?

What would you do?

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12 Responses to Pressing social questions of everyday life

  1. Brian Power says:

    On the wine question, I say definitely open it (with good friends!) Unless you get specific instructions to the contrary!

  2. Bill C. says:

    Great questions. As polarised as the world is becoming, keeping friends with whom we disagree on fundamental issues is essential. It’s also the only way to avoid groupthink. The hard part can be finding the people who can give and take and disagree and love and respect.

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      I agree Bill C. – friends can be fun and helpful if they give you a new perspective – maybe one you don’t particularly espouse yourself, but something that challenges you.

  3. Shawn Brignolio says:

    Every situation is different as well as the context, your relationship with the individual etc. I was brought up to be respectful to different views and be kind and thoughtful.

    If I prepared supper and someone did not show up, I would find that very rude as anyone who has prepared a meal knows that amount of time and thought go into a preparing meal, unless you serve beans and wieners and even then, that takes some preparation.

    The wine dilemma is an interesting one – it is said that the host should always serve the wine that is brought by guests. The problem I am faced with is I usually tell guests not to bring anything as I usually pair courses with wine I have already purchased.

    A thought provoking blog, I like it.

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      Shawn, supper prepared by you stands in stark contrast to supper cooked by me. (Beans and wieners, indeed. Followed by pie!)
      I guess in all our social interactions we assume someone else is thinking the same way we are, and it’s not always so. Being human and communicating is a challenge, but thank goodness we cannot read each others minds, or it would be far worse !

      • Brian Power says:

        Shawn, one way to approach the wine dilemma would be to turn the tables and tell your potential wine-toting guest what you are serving and ask them to bring a complementary bottle or two – granted, this would work best with guests who have an affinity with wines!

        • Mary Gillmeister says:

          The wine one….

          If you bring wine as a gift for the host, it is the host’s call whether or not he opens it. As SB says, generally the host has given thought to the menu and selected appropriate wine. If I know my host isn’t much of a wine drinker, I might offer to supply it and choose it based on the menu. But ultimately I’m more interested in the company than the libations. :)

          As for friends who all think and act alike….no thanks! I like a world where we can agree, and more importantly agree to disagree on issues large and small and still make some meaningful connections.

          As for some of your other questions, I would certianly like to see more common courtesy and thoughtfulness at play in the world, with a little more personal effort I think we’d avoid some of these awkward situations.

  4. Heather Taves says:

    Answers:
    I would eat it or invite someone else over, no problem/ This has happened – I say thank you, and then give my original copy away/ It happened, I replied and corrected for sure/ I order a drink or coffee/ Either is fine but I kind of like opening it and sharing it/ I would most definitely leave the First Nations family alone. If one wants to reach out there are a thousand ways besides interrupting a ceremony/ I stay in touch unless they are breaking hate laws (this happened to me) or have otherwise actively harmed people/ I talk to people I eat with about their food preferences and sort things out/ There’s an exception to every rule but I generally don’t find a confrontational style helpful in families/ What I do is answer blog questions when I am avoiding practising piano. :)

  5. James J. says:

    I read all the items on the list and tried to find a theme. I have experienced similar situations. Friends once planned to surprise me with a birthday cake and I did not show up. I once had a car accident going to meet a friend for coffee. Had I listened to my messages in advance I would have learned that the person cancelled. I try to be very respectful and sensitive towards people’s views and public acts of prayer, etc., and I hope that people give me the same respect. When people give me gifts I try to remember that its the thought that counts, not the actual gift. If someone has mistakenly sent me an email with sensitive information I can relate because I can easily (and have) made the same mistake. So, I think it comes down one’s outlook: Am I centered exclusively on myself or do I consider the needs of others as well as myself? Do I seek to find a win/win outcome or am I determined to get my way in all situations? I’ve noticed that individuals in the latter category are often difficult to work with, unhappy and/or stressed out. However, in the situations where someone is intentionally being rude or mean to me I will confront them and likely avoid associating with them in the future.

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