Dust-covered Gifts

It’s the holiday season and it’s hard to escape gift-themed advertisements. Commercials about tools boxes and tools sets caught my attention over the weekend. They serve as a great analogy for right action.

In life, we amass a great collection of tools (skills). Tools we’ve collected through our unique experiences and we hold onto until the right job comes along for them to be put to use again. There are skills that become our hammers and screwdrivers – the tools that get the most use, and we tend to keep those most easily accessible. But there are the specialty tools as well. The tools we rarely use and even the tools we hope we never have to use because a situation that requires their use means something rather inconvenient or perhaps terrible has happened. As a result, there will in fact be tools we’re grateful to know are collecting dust. But how sad it is to see an entire tool chest covered in dust? Knowing full well that even the hammers and screwdrivers are in there too! Knowing that we are choosing to avoid putting them to good use.

The same can be said for so many gifts we receive that spend more time collecting dust than being used. Why? Because we don’t first utilize the gifts we already have at our disposal: our reasoned choice, our ability to appreciate, our ability to demonstrate gratitude, our ability to create, our ability to be imaginative, our ability to play, our ability to do the work. These are our hammers and screwdrivers! To quote the movie Clerks, “What good’s a plate with nothing on it?”

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Aspiring Stoic and Doting Father

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