The Best

We bring to the table the best that we have to offer.

It may well not be what other people are expecting, and it almost certainly won’t be what other people are bringing to the table.   That is the power of diversity; everyone has their own strengths and their own power, their own gifts.

Of course, that means that everyone has their own weaknesses and their own challenges, their own limits, too.   The lesson of a finite life, of a human life, is that everything has a price, a trade-off, a shadow side.

Anthony Bourdain has made his secret as a travel host very clear.  “I am first and foremost a good guest,” he says, “ready to graciously receive what people have to offer.  If it is genuinely the best that they have to give, I genuinely accept it.”    Sure, he also love creating with style, tasting the best of culture and assimilating that into his writing, but even that starts with open receiving of what is on offer and then using what resonates with him in his own work.

People don’t bring what we expect them to bring, what we want.   They bring the best of themselves and give us the chance to partake.  Over time, we may well get comfortable with their style, looking forward to another opportunity to enjoy Aunt Mildred’s Ambrosia Salad, but there is no way we can acquire a love without first tasting the unknown and new.

We bring to the table the best that we have to offer.

Other people get to make a choice to receive it gratefully, moving beyond what they know, expect and are comfortable with to open themselves to the new, or they get to choose to turn up their noses, walk away, pass over it and go to the familiar and unchallenging.

It’s easy to see where other people have failed to meet your expectations.

It’s more gracious, though, when you leave your own expectations behind, move beyond your own entitlement, and see where people have worked hard to bring out the best that they have to offer.

Everyone has limits.  By graciously receiving the best that they have to offer, we affirm their possibilities and quality rather than rejecting their differences and modesty.   By graciously receiving the best that they have to offer, we encourage them to open more, to offer more, to grow more, to heal more, to mature more, to be more of what they have inside of them.

We bring to the table the best that we have to offer.

Often, the best we have to offer is simply gracious and grateful acceptance of what others offer to us.  That acceptance, that embrace of what we are not yet comfortable with encourages us to open more, to offer more, to grow more, to heal more, to mature more, to be more of what we have inside of us, too.

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