FARNSWORTH'S FIRST LAW OF LIFE, LEADERSHIP, AND CRANBERRY SAUCE:
Add Zest to Life, Whatever Your Role
In a few weeks as we sit down to a bounteous Thanksgiving dinner, we'll be ooh-ing and aah-ing over a beautifully roasted turkey or tasty ham. There will be a special dressing on the table, creamy mashed potatoes (or maybe sweet potatoes if you're from the South) and perhaps a casserole or two. We'll be saving room for some spicy pumpkin pie, a tangy apple pie, or other traditional desserts.
But as we feast, we mustn't overlook the lesson of the cranberry sauce.
On most Thanksgiving menus, cranberry sauce is not the star of the show. It's not the highlight of the dessert course. It's a humble bit player, barely more than an extra. But that doesn't stop it from being zesty and colorful. What would Thanksgiving dinner be without the tangy, vibrant cranberry?
Life is like that sometimes. We don't always get to be the belle of the ball. Our name isn't always up in lights. But that doesn't mean we can't make a difference and find fulfillment in so-called "lesser" roles.
The trajectory of history is often cyclical. As the wheel of life turns, sometimes we're up and sometimes we're down. So what? We can choose to give our best regardless of our supposed elevation.
When geese migrate in formation, they rotate positions frequently. They seem to understand that the flock can travel farther and faster when different birds take turns flying at the point of the V and the one who was in front falls back into the group.
"Whate'er thou art, act well thy part" was the personal creed of David O. McKay, a noted American educator and church leader in the mid-20th century. He understood that how we serve is more important than where we serve, and that, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the body hath need of every member.
This Thanksgiving season, let's relish the "cranberry sauce moments" of our own lives. We may not be the main dish this time, but we can make the most of even a seemingly modest role.
Let's be thankful for those whose thoughtful service spices up our world and makes it colorful and vibrant.
Let's appreciate those small and simple acts of kindness that add zest and sweetness to our lives. We need each one to make the feast of life complete.