Noah Benshea tells a story of a little boy who goes to a parade with his father. In order for the little boy to see, his father hoists him up on his shoulders. As the parade passes by, the little boy keeps telling his father how spectacular the passing sights are. Unfortunately, he gets so arrogant about his wonderful view that he mocks those who see less. “If only you could see what I can see…” But what the boy doesn’t see was why he could see.
This story reminds me of how much a burden we become when we fail to remember. Benshea points out the boy failed and could have been a giant; a giant is anyone who remembers we are all sitting on someone else’s shoulder.
How many times do we fail to remember whose shoulder we have been sitting on? There are many times we fail to thank those who have contributed greatly to our lives. Think about how many times you have been a burden instead of a giant. Is it not better to help and support people around you than be helped and supported?
Invisibles Prop us Up
The simple ritual of acknowledging each day one or more people whose shoulders we are sitting on makes you a giant.
Not only can we list significant others (parents, siblings, mates) but also the ‘invisible’ people who work very hard to make our lives better. These invisible people include garbage collectors, bus drivers, farmers, waiters and waitresses, policemen and all those who make our lives run more smoothly who we somehow take for granted.
Being as specific as I can be; the waiter who served me my breakfast at our village hotel ‘Mwenda Centre’, the farmer who grew that wonderful tomato on my sandwich, the water that sustains our lives, the clothes that keep our body warm or the air we breathe. We are best served when we don’t take anything for granted.
Don’t Take it For Granted
A side benefit according to Susan Jeffers, author of ‘End the Struggle and Dance with Life’ book, is that as we stop taking things for granted, we begin to love and take better care of the things that support our life on this planet. You really begin to stand tall when you realise how many shoulders you are sitting on; you also feel richer in spirit. And just as important, you are less of a burden and more of a giant as you acknowledge the contributions that others make to your life.
The little boy’s story should make us think twice about the ‘self-made’ man or woman concept. If you think you are self-made, think again. Your parents clothed, fed and took care of you. Your teachers educated you, your boss hired you. Your customers supported your business efforts; and employees kept the business going, or whatever it is for you. Are you sure you are self-made?
Not on Your Own
The truth hits us when we look back on all our achievements; we see that we have done nothing on our own. We feel less impoverished or victimized when we are aware of all the blessings that we receive from other people in our world. Count on the many shoulders you are sitting on, and appreciate them.
Article By Gitenguri Kuria