WITH EYES WIDE SHUT

A group of tourists is sitting in a bus.  They’re passing through the most gorgeous countryside.  the drapes are drawn in the bus, so nobody sees a thing.  And what do you think the people inside are doing?  They’re fast asleep, some of them, and others are quarrelling about who’s the best dressed woman on the bus.  Who’s the guy who’s sitting in the best seat on the bus?  And so it goes on to the journey’s end.  None of them has seen anything of this gorgeous countryside.

Source | Anthony de Mello, Rediscovering Life. Page 123.

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Very few people actually live because very few people actually see! Many go through the amazing and magnificent countryside called “life” with the drapes drawn, yawning at life, never curious and enthused, wasting time instead on non consequential peripherals!

BROTHER LEO’S SERVANT LEADERSHIP

An old legend tells of a monastery in France well-known throughout Europe because of the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately the monks began to bicker over who should do various chores.

On the third day they met another monk who was also going to the monastery and he joined their party. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever the others fought over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and simply do it himself. By the last day the other monks were following his example, and they worked together smoothly.

When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed: “But our brother is among you!” And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them late in the trip.

Source | Michael Josephson in What Will Matter

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Some people seek leadership positions not so much for what they can do for others, but for what the position can do for them: status, connections, perks or future advantage. As a result, they do service primarily as an investment, a way to build an impressive resume.
  • Brother Leo reminds us of another form of leadership, servant leadership. This kind of leadership is more about giving than getting, doing rather than demanding.
  • Imagine how much better things would be if  more politicians, popes, bishops, priests, educators, business executives and all the many other kinds of community leaders saw themselves as servant leaders?

THE ABSENT CARPENTER

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire.  He told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.  He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire.  They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.  The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.  He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials.  It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house.  He handed the front-door key to the carpenter.  “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”   The carpenter was shocked!  What a shame!  If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

Source | Belief Net

PONDER AND CONSIDER

So it is with each one of us.  We build our lives, one day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built. You are the carpenter.  Every single day you hammer a nail, place a board, erect a wall, fit a carpet.

As a wise person once suggested, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”  Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the “house” you live in tomorrow.