One of the most memorable children’s books I read to the boys when they were young was Fun on the Farm Peter The Pig; The Grand Party. Peter is due to be four years old and he invites all of the farmyard animals to the party. He is looking forward to it and they are looking forward to it. Peter, with enthusiastic zeal, takes upon himself to be chief caterer. With great commitment he produces the food and welcomes his guests. Here upon the narrative reads:-
“Tea is served,” he said very grandly. The animals watched eagerly as he lifted the lids. And then to their horror, they saw what was in the dishes. In one was a huge pile of boiled potato peelings and cabbage stalks , and in the other………PIGSWILL. Poor Peter looked at their shocked faces. “Don’t you like it?” he asked sadly. “It took me ages to prepare. I thought that, as I like it so much you would too.”
Happily Farmer Pippin and Jeannie step into the breach to provide the necessary apple juice, jelly, ice-cream, chocolate cake and frothy milk and so they all had a grand party.
The sobering part of the story is the enthusiastically sensible and yet flawed logic of Peter. He likes the peelings, stalks and pigswill and so he expects that everyone else will. Alas how many times I have had a Peter the Pig moment when I have realised that everybody does not see the world through the same lens as me. Others have different preferences and different tastes. Others have different ways of doing things, And I, in my naivety, have presumed that everyone is like me.
Oh how I need to be thoughtful about these matters. Surely when love and prayerfulness is characterising my being I will know something of being saved from my self-centred perspective on life. After all love thinks about others and love stops and considers how others see things.
Similar musings appeared here previously concerning the tea issue.