I was recently invited to a reception being held at a wonderful contemporary Peruvian-Japanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi. As I walked in, the art piece reminded me of the Masterclass level chiefs involved in my visit. At best, my role was to consume, experience, and share my experience. I also realised that it was an opportunity to increase my awareness, learn, and grow.
One can always learn. Each time I go to this restaurant, I focus on understanding more about the dishes, what ingredients and seasonings are involved, how they are prepared, and plated. My tools are curiosity, questions, and listening. Even when I guess the answer, it “gives [me] you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.” (Romans 11.18). I am here to experience, examine, and listen.
One can always experience more. There are several dishes I like to repeat. One at the top of my list is a grilled aubergine (eggplant). As often as I have had it, I always find something new as I dig deeper into the dish. When I asked more questions, even as the waiter recognised me from before, there was an appreciation that I was serious. I was genuinely interested in learning and growing. In this case, the answers matched the nuance and directness in my questions and the dialogue that followed.
There is a call to action that follows learning. It is fun to put the insights and awareness to use. I have not, so far, tried to replicate the dish. I have taken the techniques and ideas in the dish and applied them in my own way. The joy of taking the Master’s ideas and creating new manifestations is at the heart of the opportunity I see ahead today. I know something of kindness and care, especially in the way each impacts my life. I find myself thinking of the nuances, the details of how they have been gifted to me, in the context of this moment. I create the dishes for those I serve.