Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
“It was the night of my weekly recovery group,” a woman said to me. “I had to make myself attend the meeting. We had a guest speaker from out of town, and everyone had been buzzing about his speaker for weeks.
“Oh, Corky’s coming. Have you heard about Corky? Don’t miss the meeting; Corky will be there to talk that night. He’s the best.’ I was so sick of hearing about Corky. I didn’t know who he was, and I didn’t care. I just couldn’t stomach all this gushing. By the time I got to the meeting, the only chair open was right next to Corky. I was so turned off and disgusted. I just couldn’t stand all this naïve raving.
“I sat through the meeting. Barely heard a word this guy said. At the end of the meeting, when it came time to hold hands and say the prayer, I couldn’t stand the thought of putting my hand in his. But I did.
“When I got home from attending the group that evening, my husband asked me how it went. So I told him the whole story, about Corky, about everyone being so excited this guy was coming to town, about my decision not to be involved with this idolization of some stupid guy named Corky.
“Don’t you know who that is?” my husband said. I told him the only thing I knew was that he went by the nickname Corky. My husband pointed to the stack of books at my bedside – all written by the same author. My favorite author in the entire world.
“It’s him,’ my husband said. “It’s the guy you read every night. Corky is just his nickname.’ I felt this wave of horror go through me. I had wanted to meet this guy for years. I loved his mind. I loved his work. And here I had sat right next to him – even held his hand – and I hadn’t even heard a word he said or appreciated the opportunity I had to meet him.
“I’ve seen him around a few times since that night,” my friend added. “I haven’t had the courage to tell him my story yet. Maybe someday I will. Until then, I’m working hard to remember the lesson of that night; keep an open mind or you might miss something or someone really valuable in your life.”
Closing our mind and our heart can cause us to lose a lot more than a chance to meet someone we revere. We can miss the true beauty and wisdom in people who at first glance look ordinary. We can miss opportunities and ideas that could change our lives. We can overlook danger signs. And sometimes, we can embarrass ourselves.
Valve: We can call it dropping our assumptions or judgments, staying aware, or keeping an open mind. Whatever words we use to describe this state, that’s the value this week.
You are reading from the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie