Sunday, November 8, 2009

Funnel Cake for Two

Last night we were at a football game for a local University (Go, Jags!) and I watched the interchange between two young boys sitting in front of me.

Funnel Cake with powdered sugarImage via Wikipedia

I had watched as one of the boys had gone to the concession stand and bought a funnel cake. Now if you don't know what a funnel cake is, you really need to go to a fair or parade or ball game with the sole purpose of purchasing one. It is a confection of batter which is deep-fried and covered with confectioner's sugar. The smell alone is addictive and you can only watch so many people walk in front of the stands with one before you are drawn irresistibly to the concession stand to purchase one for yourself.

One of the boys had one of these delightful confections in his possession. His friend asked for a bite. The first boy pulled off a small piece and gave it to him. Not content, the second boy asked for more. Only "asked" is not the correct verb. He actually demanded more -- and a bigger piece. He wanted at least half. The first boy pulled off another small piece (smaller than the first, I noticed) and gave it to him. Boy #2 gobbled this down and again started his demands, only louder and more aggressively. Boy #1 for the third time, pulled off a piece and gave it to his friend. Boy #2 again demanded more. It seemed to him that it was totally unfair that Boy #1 should have so much funnel cake (which Boy#1 had purchased with his own money out of his own pocket) and he (Boy#2) should only be given small pieces. Never once did I hear Boy #2 say "Thank-you". Never once did he stop badgering his friend for more funnel cake until the last bite was eaten. Boy #1 had to eventually move the plate out of the reach of Boy #2 to prevent his funnel cake from being taken from him.

Glen and I also had funnel cake last night. Our sharing of the cake did not involve any demands, badgering or begging. We amiably shared the plate of goodness (as we have shared things for over 30 years). In fact, Glen left the last piece for me, but I insisted he eat half of it.

In my mind, Boy #1 had every right to eat ALL of his funnel cake that he had purchased. He was more than generous to give cake to his friend more than three times. Boy #2 was ungrateful and demanding. What was the difference between their exchange and the exchange between me and Glen? Glen and I have learned that we want the other one to have the most and the best of everything. We have learned to "esteem other better than yourselves"

Boy #2 reminded me much of the direction of our society in which so many want so much from others simply because the others have managed to acquire it. Demanding, badgering and ungrateful, so many do not have a heart or mind for others and what they can be do for those others. How much better our homes, our towns, our society and our nation would be if we could learn the lesson from the Apostle Paul to:

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3)

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