Bringing Something to the Table
My father would talk to me when I was young about the responsibility of a parent to his/her children and to society as a whole. He would say “it is my job to bring up my children so my children add something to the table of society and not take something away”.
He would go on to say, “I am not asking you to be a world leader or find the cure to cancer, or give a piece of your life to protect your country or even the world”. My father was a smart but simple man. He valued hard work and believed you needed to do your part in the world or in his words, “bring something to society’s table”. His thought was: work hard, see the big picture in your life, and be proud of what you can bring to the table.
I found that facing my suffering in this life is what has made me the man I am. I worked hard to cure myself of Crohn’s Colitis. I learned not to be embarrassed about my learning disability even though I could not really write until I was in my thirties when I stopped being embarrassed to ask for help. It was part of my learning that you can bring anything to the table of society. At one time I brought the pebble to hold down the tablecloth so it didn’t blow away. Now I am writing and sharing what I learned through meditation. Maybe what I bring to the table is getting read and practiced by one person and that person might be using the clarity of meditation to write grace that will be shared at the table of society.
Like my father would say, be proud that you brought your pebble to hold down the tablecloth. What you have shared with that one pebble could help create the answer to the universe. I know the pebble sounds small, but it is part of the whole. I know times are tough. I know everyone is looking for the answer in your own life. But everyday that we look outside of ourselves is one more day that the tablecloth is flapping around in the breeze.
Look deep inside yourself for what you can bring to society’s table. It will be just what is needed.