Most people have probably at one time or another been to a potluck: a delicious event in which there are tables full of food brought by all the participants. The variety of gustatory pleasures can be almost overwhelming. If done right, there’s plenty for everyone. The basic rule is this: bring enough for yourself (or your family/group) and a few more.
What a great rule! Lots of people can eat as long as pretty much everyone who comes brings just a little more than they need. This can take care of those who can’t bring something for one reason or another.
What if everyone lived life by this philosophy? Take care of yourself and your immediate family and then reach out to help just a few others. Watch out for them and their needs; check in on them regularly, be friends, make sure they have food and shelter and someone to lean on. I’ve already written about how it can be overwhelming to think about all the needy “out there” and how it’s simply not possible to help them all. But it is possible to just help one at a time, starfish-style. I’ve also written about my church’s home- and visiting-teaching programs, in which pairs of people are assigned to take care of a few others. It’s just a few. When ‘most everyone steps in and takes a list of people to help, everyone has an automatic pair of friends to turn to when some need arises, whether it’s more “practical” or just a listening ear. It’s a simple but beautiful system.
I’m not discounting the work of a lot of great organizations in the world that help those who are needy in one way or another, but life would certainly be happier and more comfortable for everyone if all who were able did their share plus just a little bit more. Yes, let’s all adopt the potluck philosophy.