In her new book, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."
We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie to launch a new feature we're calling HuffPost Family Dinner Downloads. Every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.
The family can gather around the laptop, smartphone, or iPad -- or just print out the post and pass it around the table. Each Dinner Download will end with a question or two that we hope will get everyone thinking and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
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This week, a website called WikiLeaks (not connected to Wikipedia) released nearly a quarter-million secret diplomatic cables -- which are basically emails between America's representatives in countries all over the world and the U.S. State Department. Someone in the government who had access to these cables decided to make them public -- even though it meant breaking the law to do it -- and sent them to WikiLeaks, which shared them with the world.
Newspapers have dug into these documents and in the past week we've seen hundreds of news stories revealing the secrets contained in them -- everything from candid and often unkind opinions of world leaders, to confidential assessments of global crises. And there has been a big debate about whether it was right for WikiLeaks to release this kind of secret information, and whether the public's right to know outweighs our government's ability to decide what they get to keep secret.
What do you think -- is honesty always the best policy? Are there certain secrets that are okay to share with others, and other secrets that under no circumstances should be shared? When is it okay to break an agreement to reveal secret information? Are there times when you have not told the whole truth because it would have hurt someone's feelings or broken a promise you had made? How would you feel if someone shared your diaries -- or your emails with your best friend -- with the world?
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To see last week's Family Dinner Download, click here.
Subscribe to receive HuffPost Family Dinner Downloads by email every Friday afternoon.
For more tips and recipes, check out The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt.