The Stew of Life

Some years ago I read a story, one that has affected my entire life. At this point sufficient time has passed that I no longer recall the author or even the title. Internet searches have proved to no avail either. But this is a story that you need to hear. Perhaps it will change your life as it did mine.

It is a very simple story and one that is easy to grasp. What is difficult is taking the message to heart. I will not attempt to rewrite the story itself, merely to lay it’s tenets out before you.

Here goes. By way of an analogy, life is just like a huge stew. The vast majority of the contents of the stew (like all stews) are bland and flavorless things. The peas, carrots, potatoes and the like. They are there to add body to the dish and for the most part they assume flavor from the rest of the stew rather than adding significantly to that flavor.

These items are representative of all the people around us life. They “ride with the tide, and go with the flow.” By choice, they live a life of quiet powerlessness. Why by choice? Because it is all they know and therefore all they think is possible.

But every once in a while you will come across an onion. Onions shake things up – they are major flavor makers. Onions affect all the other constituents of the stew. Even after their savor is fully gone it is infused into the stew. The entire stew becomes richer, better, because of their inclusion.

After reading this story I came to a realization. In the very real stew of life, I was not content to be bland. I have chosen to be an onion. Love me, hate me, it really does not matter, for one thing is certain: you will notice my presence. And the corollary is equally true, you will notice my absence.

So, how about you? It’s a really big stew. There is room for many onions. And perhaps some garlic? What of celery, scallions, etc. You get the point I’m sure, the rest is up to you.

Please, dear readers, if any of you know this story and it’s origin, let us know.

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