Enjoy the Banquet of Life
By Rowdy Teaff, Sports Editor
Forest Gump famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” It’s true. Life is a mystery; we seldom get to pick and choose the challenges that we are going to confront in life.
The stoics had many good quotes about dealing with life. Meditating on mortality, practicing discipline and keeping control over emotions are just a few of the practices that they applied to their lives.
One of my personal favorite quotes is from Epictetus, from his manual “Enchiridion.”Epictetus said it best, “Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t come yet? Don’t burn in desire for it but wait until it arrives in front of you. Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth — one day it will make you worthy of a banquet with the gods,” (Epictetus, “Enchiridion”,15).
Life is meant to be enjoyable, like a banquet. As we sit, gather and enjoy the time that we have around those in our lives, we should take note on what matters. Opportunities will come and pass, and if they pass you can wait until it comes back around.
I like to apply this teaching into my own walk with Christ, my personal life and the ethos I want to create for my career. In my walk, I need to be excited for what God is going to put in front of me. It could be an unexpected friendship that turns into a lifelong relationship, or an opportunity to become a better witness for the kingdom.
In my personal life, I can sit and be happy for my friends and family as they enjoy successes in their life. Just because they may have gotten something that I wanted, doesn’t mean that I need to be envious. What is going to happen will happen, so being content with what I have, and being joyful for others keeps me content until my helping of life’s feast comes around.
In my ethos I want to create a company that allows everyone to come in and present their own strengths on the table. I’m an advocate for movement-based healthcare, and I want to surround myself with people who feel the same. As a chiropractor, I’ll have specialty in the nervous system, so I don’t need to do a physical therapist’s job. A physical therapist will be able to make one of my patients stronger, so why should there be any disconnect between us as physicians?
By erasing ego from my ethos, I want to create the best possible environment for healthcare. I want medical doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, massage therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, physicians assistants and anyone else that is responsible for the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual development of a patient to see that despite differences in education and scope of practice, they are working towards the same goal. I want my portion that I take to be beneficial for who I am going to be working with. By completely eradicating ego from the equation, healthcare can be improved. By not having any sort of irresponsible and unnecessary emotion about the position of others, I hope to bring in people with different practices and opinions to come in and make healthcare better.
Next time you’re stuck sitting at the banquet of life, remember that you’re not alone. Just because someone may have more on their plate doesn’t mean that they are more content with their circumstance. Sometimes just letting the plate pass down to others or sharing your helping could make all the difference in someone else’s life. Regardless of the circumstance, be sure that you remain in charge of your emotions. Don’t get too happy or too sad over anything that is out of your control. Control what you can control and don’t forget what you are working towards.