THE SEE-SAW - A MODERN DAY METAPHOR
IMAGINE: The thin long plank made
of metal, with hand-supports on either end - suspended gracefully in the air at
the center. And on the ground, enclosed
all around this see-saw, is a soft rubbery floor; where children cannot injure
themselves if they should fall. And yes,
there are children happily sitting on it now - floating and falling from the
air at regular intervals - being supervised by their parents watching from a
park-bench only meters away. It is a
wonderful warm sunny day in the park; the atmosphere is fresh and clean, the
wind blows a slight breeze and there are smiles of joy throughout the park.
Imagine: You are this see-saw, that you are the pivot of this park apparatus; that you
are in control of the motions. You
dictate how it works. If you are the
pivot, then you must take a look at yourself.
For 'f you are small, then you may become
driven into the ground after days or months of usage by the children. If you and your faith become smaller and smaller,
then the pivot will become more and more insignificant until the pivot
disappears completely and the metal plank lies on the ground, slowly rusting
away while people walk and stamp all over you, as they move from one area of
the park to another. And you shall
You are the pivot, and you must
look at yourself. For if you are growing
larger and larger, the see-saw will rise higher and higher. "So what," you may ask, "the
children will be enjoying themselves more and more as they soar higher and
faster into the air." But what if a child flies but then loses his grip
from the supports? What if a child does
injure himself on that rubbery surface?
What would people say? "The
pivot has grown so proud of itself that it has become its own downfall, and now
it must be destroyed..."
You are the plank of the
see-saw. It has already been said that
if you lack the fulcrum, then people will crush you. But what do you look like? Is the metal as clean and shiny as it can be,
or is there rust growing from around the edges; is the plank's outward
appearance not what it would seem? For
bad character from within will surely seep out and become visible. If the plank does rust from underneath, then
given time that rust will grow onto the outside where all can see 'II people
still use the see-saw then? If the rust
is so bad that you or your plank snaps into two, can people ever use it again?
There are some regulars on the see-saw,
those who were once small but are now youths.
You may remember the past, when these children's parents were with them
when they played on the see-saw, but look at them now - some carry glass
bottles and smash them against you, against it, and on the ground. They then depart, laughing, away from the
see-saw and the park. There are tiny
specks of glass strewn all over the rubbery floor, with many fragments lodged
halfway through that surface; and see now in the distance coming towards the
see-saw: more children wanting to play... Would you still want to be that see-saw,
or would you wish to be moved away from that original company of children with
whom you have been and seen growing up?
Do you still wish to be with that glass-bottle" party crowd today?
You are in disrepair. You have tried to keep yourself and others
balanced on your plank, but you think you have failed as you feel yourself
permanently over-balanced and tipped-over to the wrong side. The ground beneath you has hardened, turning
as hard as concrete. No children are
coming towards you to play anymore - those people that do come only to write
graffiti on your dull gray surface. Even
the sun has disappeared and has hidden away from you behind many clouds of
darkness. What has become of you? What will become of you? Is there anything that can be done' , Can you remember anything about the past? If you can, then surely there must be some
hope deep inside yourself if only you can 'II reach in and grasp, if only you
can call for help...
And look there, just entering the
park and coming towards you - a small party of people whom you have recognized
from years in the past. They are corning
towards you and they are singing mainly for you. They come with various tools and instruments
- to clean and repair you. They come to
restore and revitalize you. More
importantly, the people have come to renew your faith, to return you to your
previous form, to strengthen you and give you a new lease of life. Through these people and your own heart, you
can become shiny again. Your pivot can
become strong and level once more, being just of the right size. And you can, once more, make children happy
by letting them play on that see-saw.
The people who have repaired you
have also come with a reminder. A
reminder that you should still constantly look at yourself A
reminder to keep your faith high and your pride at a minimum. A reminder to keep yourself pure and
clean. And a reminder to choose whom you
should be with, both in the short-term and the long-term, and whom you should
always remember, wherever you are. Finally,
for the short-term at least, these people will always be with you in times of
need, distress and peril.
Remember that there are always
people looking at and observing you in all that you do and say, for you are the
see-saw for everybody to see.