I think I found a way to build a bridge to communication in our wildly divided country. It’s novel. It’s kefir.
What is that you say? What the hell is kefir and what does it have to do with politics?
Kefir is essentially a fermented milk product that tastes like a tart tangy greek yogurt. You can buy it in the store, but a far better version of kefir is homemade.
I don’t have the expertise to talk about kefir except as it relates to me and the little 3-month personal experiment I’ve been conducting. I have been making my own kefir daily for six weeks.
Kefir repopulates the stomach with good bacteria. The result is no more upset tummy and I’ve been able to stop my meds. Keith hasn’t taken TUMS since he started drinking 5 oz of Kefir every morning.
I make milk kefir from grains that start the milk fermentation process. Milk grains are living things that look like little cauliflower florettes. When they are healthy they grow and duplicate and can be shared with friends and family.
So what has this to do with communication?
My new friend and campsite neighbor Barbara found we agree on very little. Politics. 5G. Vaccines. So we looked for something we could agree on. Something we could dig in on and share.
It was kefir. We both love it and believe it is a path to good health.
In fact I was thrilled when she said she could use some of my extra kefir grains so that she can start a batch of kefir for herself.
Lesson learned: when trying to bridge a chasm, focus on the areas in common. Not the differences.
To learn more about the science of kefir and its history, here is a paper from Cambridge University Press.
How to make kefir. There are dozens of you tube videos on the subject. Here is a pretty good article from Bon Appetite.