Monday, November 6, 2017

the bowl test and the messier test

I told my girls two stories.

One is about bowls: the wise man said that the only reason you should be looking to the other person's bowl is to see whether *they* have *enough*. Asking if they have more than you (then calling it 'unfair'), especially when you both have plenty, is destructive.

The other isn't about being messy. (Each girl manages to be messier than the other, a paradox I haven't gotten to the bottom of, possibly because I myself am messy.) It's about Messier (French: mes-si-ay) Objects: I only recently discovered that these exist. Somehow I'd never heard of them! One friend reacted with scorn that I was ignorant of something so commonly known even to idiots; another friend got all excited for me because he knew I'd be on a path of discovery. The excited friend was the one being the true friend — and refining his own soul in the process. The other was fruitlessly putting me down — and himself in the process.

The Bowl Test and the Messier Test. They boil down to abundance: of physical provision, of information, of space and time and goods. They ask what we will do with that abundance, and how we will treat each other.

The challenges they present are different: one native to older sisters and one native to younger ones. But life gives each of my girls both of these tests on a nearly hourly basis. So I've named them. We'll be discussing each test and how to pass it. Maybe I'll do better along the way.


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