Kitchen Table Wisdom

By Rosie Moore

My title is the name of a book I’m reading now by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD who is one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body health field, and was one of the first to develop a psychological approach to people with life-threatening illnesses and educate their physicians about their needs. Let me quote some of her paragraphs.

“Everybody has a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. It was is not just a way of passing time, it was the way wisdom got passed along. Despite the awesome powers of technology many of us still do not live very well. We may need to listen to each other’s stories again. Telling stories can be healing. Also, listening to stories can be healing.

Life is full of the unknown, full of wonder, full of mystery. Most books try to lead you out of mystery into mastery. This book leads us to recognize and move toward the mystery that is in everyday life.”

An example of one of her stories. Actually, it’s a parable:

“Shiva and Shakti, the Divine Couple in Hinduism, are in their heavenly abode watching over the earth. They are touched by the challenges of human life, the complexity of human reactions, and the ever-present place of suffering in the human experience. As they watch, Shakti spies a miserably poor man walking down a road. His clothes are shabby and his sandals tied together with rope. Her heart is wrung with compassion. Touched by his goodness and his struggle. Shakti turns to her divine husband and begs him to give this man some gold. Shiva looks at the man for a long moment. ‘My dearest wife,’ he says, ‘I cannot do that.’ Shakti is astounded. ‘Why, what do you mean, Husband? You are Lord of the Universe. Why can’t you do this simple thing?’ ( I have shortened this story) Shiva drops a bag of gold in the man’s path.

The man meanwhile walks along thinking to himself, ‘I wonder if I will find dinner tonight–or shall I go hungry again. Turning a bend in the road he sees something on the path in his way. ‘Aha’, he says, ‘Look there, a large rock. How fortunate that I have seen it. I might have torn these poor sandals of mine even further.’ And, carefully stepping over the bag, he goes on his way.”

Do you understand the moral of this story? Many bags of gold are thrown in our path but we walk around them. Do you have a story? Tell it to anyone who will listen, around the kitchen table.

Thought for the day: Do not ask the Lord  to guide your footsteps if you’re not willing to move your feet. Anonymous

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