Imagine a room of round tables, each of which seats eight people from a diverse spectrum of cultural, economic, political, religious and physical circumstances and beliefs. Their task? To fairly divide one big slice of the best chocolate cake ever baked. (for argument’s sake it is gluten- dairy- and all allergen-free so that it can be enjoyed by everyone).
What scenarios could we expect?
The Best Chocolate Cake Ever Created
Someone might propose using a scale to weigh their slice of cake and divide the number by eight, then somehow dividing it into eight equal parts. But some would have more of less icing than others. The ones with more icing might say they don’t even like icing and feel uncomfortable with others’ stares of jealousy. Maybe they’ve had these stares their whole life and have simply gotten used to saying they don’t like icing just to mitigate or stave off the stares. Maybe they don’t even know if they like icing?! Or maybe this is the first time in their life that someone else has been jealous of something they had, so they are inclined to completely revel or bask in the glow of others’ envy…
Some at the table might say they don’t want a piece of the piece of cake. And this might either be because they’re feeling fat or unhealthy and want to appear to be their best, most disciplined self, or because they simply can’t stomach the potential conflict over what they perceive to be either petty or outside their sphere of influence, as in “it’s just not worth the fight or the stress.”
But this chocolate cake has gotten more media attention than any celebrity, any global conflict over resources or issues of injustice, more than any weather anomaly, or any angry rogue act of insanity. This chocolate cake has been imbued with the power of royalty. No, this chocolate cake is so divine that by just eating a bite, one’s soul is guaranteed to be saved; their place in heaven is assured.
Can you now imagine the pent up energy within each person sitting at the table?
Some are frothing at the mouth in anticipation of that slice of decadence to be placed at their table. Some are scheming and dreaming about pouncing on the slice as it is placed down — to HELL with the others seated there! Others are more cunning and are envisioning the act of tackling to the ground the person carrying out the whole majestic cake.
But a few others scattered among the tables in the room are envisioning just and peaceful demonstrations of emotional maturity from each person in the room. A buzz — no a lovely hum — fills the room as the idea of breathing together, looking each other in the eyes, sharing with each of the seven at our table — in patient turn — our names and hopes for what this bite of chocolate cake will do for us, what it means to us.
This idea spreads to each table and brings a smile to everyone’s face. There really is enough for everyone in the room. The hum seems to resonate with and between everyone gathered. There is no need for police — or military — intervention.
We are all excited about sharing this opportunity — this great bounty — together.
Watching one take a bite brings great joy to another. And as everyone in the room shares in this magical experience, tasting this unfathomably delicious creation, there arises a swell of gratitude for the baker of this chocolate cake.
Some spontaneously stand to give personal testimony of their great appreciation. Some have closed their eyes, having fallen into a blissful state of meditative oneness. Some are weeping tears of joy having never experienced anything so profound, so glorious, as this haven of generous expression.
All present give thanks and pause to reflect on the fact that, while the cake was indeed amazing, the real miracle was in its ability to unite everybody in the room with a perfectly kind and gracious fellowship.
All are infused with a reverence for the human spirit — for the sweet and gentle nature within every body. All are keenly aware of the needs of those in the room, our global village we call Earth — like the elders and children who need to go to the bathroom. They want to assist wherever they can.
Many join in the task of collecting plates and compostable forks and bringing buckets out back to the food pile. Many join in the task of stacking tables and chairs. There is humming and whistling, care taking and discussion about what’s next…
With Love, karen