Friday, March 25, 2011

Yummish Offertory

Today's meditation focuses on one of the most sacred Yummish rites: The Yummish Offertory. In the Yummish tradition, it is not enough to passively “experience” life. Rather, like those take-a-penny-leave-a-penny trays on the counter at the corner market, we believe life works best when we all contribute to as well as benefit from the experience. 

Each of us is called on to make at least one Yummish Offertory over the course of our lives, an offering particular to our unique talents and strengths (read: Yum). We are each called on to contribute part of our “self” - the collection of experiences and potential you currently perceive as being “you” – to the overall experience of “being.” This contribution can take many forms: poetry, music, skyscrapers, offspring, novels, paintings, films, medical research, education or a space station. The only real restriction on the form these offerings may take is that it must be something intended to outlast the life of “giver.”

Rather than being a selfish act of self-preservation, a true Yummish Offertory is a gift to both those already present and those yet to come. Whether you give the gift of your talent, your eye color, your sense of humor or your recipe for pork roast, your gift of self enriches the experience of others by allowing them to partially sample the experience of being “you,” just as you currently benefit from the offerings of those both present and passed. To refuse to make such an offering is not only selfish, it is the worst kind of self-hatred: self-negation. You have a “voice” and something to “say” to the future and the now. To hold back – out of fear, self-doubt or lack of determination – is an act of violence against yourself and larceny against the future.

It's true that you may not see the immediate effect of your gift upon the world. That does not mean that your contribution is not important, even vital.  It may be that like Emily Dickinson's poetry or Frank Capra's “It's a Wonderful Life,” your gift is destined to be better appreciated by future generations than your contemporaries. It could also be that your gift, though never widely appreciated, like the butterfly whose wing-beat leads to a hurricane, will inspire something that will take the world by storm. As with any gift, it is the recipient, not the giver, who determines it's ultimate employment, and the only gifts ever truly wasted are those that are not given.    

Today's exercise: Offer it up!

Next: A more light-hearted offering. Maybe something about pancakes. Pancakes are yummy. 

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