Table Manners

My girlfriend has been studying the TEFL method of Teaching English to Foreign Language students (hence the acronym) earlier this year. I remember that one of their teaching plans was titled “Dinner Conversation” in which they would help foreign people understand what was socially acceptable for polite conversation around the dinner table.

In our society, when meeting people for the first time or people that you don’t know that well, generally introducing the topics of politics, religion, sex or money into conversation is regarded as a serious faux-pas. Personally, I’ve got no truck with politics or religion; I find them both archaic ideas that need some serious upgrades before being taken serious in modern society. Sex and money on the other hand are amongst my favourite things.

Our society is very primitive when it comes to both these latter subjects. In terms of sex, people have had it drummed into their head as something “bad”, the forbidden fruit, and while almost everyone who watches the modern media wouldn’t openly say sex is bad, there is that underlying stigma. I am involved in tantra (of which sex is a large component), I enjoy porn, and I am an active nudist (which isn’t really sexual but does have that association in most people’s minds).

How many of you took a step back from your computer reading that last sentence?

If you did, my suggestion is rethink your views. Now, this isn’t a blog about sex at all. My point follows that we have the same aversion to talking about money. If I told you that I am opposed to office jobs, constantly look and grab money-making opportunities, am involved in Network Marketing, work with investors and money gurus, and treat my wallet as a temple, what would your response be?

I have no qualms talking about making money, debt, investment, or business opportunities at the dinner table. Sadly, a lot of people do. Just like we are taught to be uncomfortable about sex, we are also taught to be uncomfortable with money. Many of these teaching come from people who were brought up in a society and situation where sex and money was subdued; they were things that decent, honest folk didn’t mix with. At least, not openly.

Our world has changed. Our generation is more open. We are exploring more. Money has become so much more prevalent in our world. There is so much paper money around, so much being being printed on a daily basis that it’s really becoming a very common commodity. Yet so many people still fear it. So many are uncomfortable talking about it.

Instead, they talk about the lack of it. You’re more likely to find a group of people discussing how the economy sucks than how much they made that week.

If you want to be rich, you have an obligation to yourself to stop talking like a poor person. Stop being a victim. Have no shame in talking openly about money, your earnings or your business ventures. That’s what entrepreneurs do. And through this practise, they attract and are better able to connect with the people and opportunities that will further their success.

Pay attention to your dinner topics. And then look around at how much of that conversation is just fuelling your lot in life.