THE BOAT RACE

There was a great race between a team of the wise and a team of the foolish. The wise people won by a mile. So the foolish people hired a expert to figure out what went wrong. He reported that the wise people had one person steering and eight people rowing, while they had eight people steering and only one person rowing.

“Aha,” said the foolish people who immediately restructured their team: Now they had one senior manager, seven management consultants, and  one rower. In the rematch, the wise people won by two miles!

After further intensive consultations, the foolish people fired their rower!

Source: unknown origin

CONSIDER THIS

In the above story reality was staring the  team of the foolish in the face, but they just couldn’t see it. The fully lived life is all about seeing, seeing differently, seeing things as they really are.  It has been said that “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

ONE BODY

Once upon a time, the various parts of the body began complaining against the stomach.

“Look at me,” says the hand, “I till the soil to plant the seeds, I harvest the crops, I prepare the food. All that the stomach ever does is lie there waiting to be fed. This is unfair.”

The feet agreed, “Me too, I carry the heavy stomach around all day, I carry him to the farm to get food, I carry him to the river to get water, I even carry him up the palm tree to get palm wine, and all the stomach ever does is lie there and expect to get his ration of food, water and wine whenever he needs them. This is unfair.”

The head, too complained how he carries all the heavy load from the farm and from the river, all to feed the stomach who does nothing to help. The parts of the body decided that this injustice must stop. To force the issue, they decided to embark on a protest action. They agreed to stop working and feeding the lazy stomach until the stomach learns to be a responsible citizen of the body.

A whole day went by and the stomach was not given any food or water or wine. All that the stomach did was groan from time to time while the others taunted him. By the second day of starving the stomach, the head said that he was beginning to feel dizzy. By the third day, the hands reported that they were feeling weak, and the feet were wobbly and could not stand straight. Then it dawned on them that, much as they were visibly supporting the stomach, the stomach was also supporting them in a less obvious but equally important way. It dawned on them that by feeding the stomach they were feeding themselves without knowing it. So they called off their strike action and went back to work to feed the stomach. Their strength returned and together with the stomach they lived happily together after.

Source | An african fable of unknown origin

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Reflect on the passage for Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians:

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. | 1 Corinthians 12:14-26

Remember that every member of the community, including those who appear to be useless, are important after all.

 

 

THE STORY OF THE RAINBOW

Once upon a time, all the colours in the world started to quarrel; each claimed that she was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favourite.

Green said: “Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves — without me all the animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”

Blue interrupted: “You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is water that is the basis of life and this is drawn up by the clouds from the blue sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace you would all be nothing but busybodies.”

Yellow chuckled: “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.”

Orange started next to blow her own trumpet: “I am the colour of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the inner needs of human life. I carry all the most important vitamins. Think of carrots and pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and pawpaws. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”

Red could stand it no longer. He shouted out: “I’m the ruler of you all, blood, life’s blood. I am the colour of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire in the blood. Without me the earth would be empty as the moon. I am the colour of passion and love; the red rose, poinsettia and poppy.”

Purple rose up to his full height. He was very tall and he spoke with great pomp: “I am the colour of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me — they listen and obey.”

Indigo spoke much more quietly than all the others, but just as determinedly: “Think of me, you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep waters. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”

And so the colours went on boasting, each convinced that they were the best. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of brilliant white lightning; thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colours all crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

Then Rain spoke: 

“You foolish colours, fighting among yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Do you not know that God made you all? Each for a special purpose, unique and different. God loves you all. God wants you all. Join hands with one another and come with me. God  will stretch you across the sky in a great bow of colour, as a reminder that you are all loved by God and that you can live together in peace – a promise that he is with you – a sign of hope for tomorrow.”

And so whenever God has used a good rain to wash the world, He puts the rainbow in the sky, and when we see it, let us remember to appreciate one another

Source | Anne Hope based on an Indian legend 

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Consider this story from two perspectives, the macro lens and the micro lens.

  • The macro lens: look outside of you and see what and who the different and diverse colours of the rainbow can be.  Find way to make space for all, befriend all, live peacefully with all.
  • The micro lens: Look inside, look within and consider what could be the many varied and diverse colours inside of you. How do you relate to each?  Do you make space for all the colours within you that need to express and speak their truth?