It’s funny how stories have a way of drifting up into your memory from your childhood when you are meditating and reflecting on a specific word or practice. As you may have figured out by now, the theme for this month is connection and I have been working on being intentional this month about practicing seeing the connections in my life. I hope you have as well.
This morning I found myself thinking about a story my father told me about washing potatoes. Decades ago, my father served in the Korean War. Amongst many positions in which he served, was that of a translator. He also spent some time working in the kitchen. One of his least favorite tasks was cleaning and peeling potatoes. Often times he would find himself assigned to this task, ordered to do hundreds of potatoes, one at a time. While he became efficient at cleaning potatoes, it was not one he enjoyed doing.
Years ago, he told me a story about how one of the Koreans in the area had showed him how they clean potatoes. They would put them in a tub full of water. Then they would put a stick in the tub, push it up and down, and swirl it around. As my father told the story, doing so transformed this tub into a washing machine for potatoes. They were able to cleanse massive amounts of potatoes at one time. It was through their connection and interaction with each other that they were cleansed as a collective.
A colleague of mine recently asked me to help him with a book he is writing on social action. I told him that his ideas of social action and community organizing reminded me of potatoes in a tub. It is through our collaboration and connections with each other, that we are able to bring about transformative change in the world.
It is through the power of association with each other, that our individual energies and gifts connect and create something more powerful then we could accomplish on our own. It is as if each of us is a lightbulb in a baseball field. Our individual bulb is not bright enough to illuminate an entire stadium, However, when our energies connect with each other, we can. Imagine how powerful a light we can be in the world if we work together to cleanse the world of all which keeps us from evolving, kind of like potatoes in a tub.