A few months ago I attended a family wedding. It was a beautiful occasion with great attention to detail. One aspect that supported this was the appointment of table captains, the idea being that one person would attend to the needs of their fellow guests and ensure that everything was running smoothly at each table.
Personally, being a table captain was interesting. As someone who has been used to taking a back seat and letting things happen, being appointed to the captain’s role required quite a change in my approach. No longer could I just let the event wash over me, I had to be attentive to the needs of the other guests and be engaged in the process of ensuring things were running smoothly.
It made me reflect on my wider participation in life, how each moment I can be that table captain, taking responsibility for how others are, tending to the needs of people around us: not at the expense of our own wellbeing of course, but definitely there is an exquisite opportunity to care for and be proactively in the service of others. Or to put it another way, “get ourselves out of the way,” a term I first heard described by Serge Benhayon.
I also considered how the more I take on the role of table captain in my life, the less anxiousness takes hold as the presence we feel in ourselves becomes stronger. A perfect example of this arises in daily meetings. If I go into a meeting knowing I am not the chair or not the lead on a project, do I sit back and say, “Well, that person is leading, what are they going to come up with?” or do I play my table captain role and see myself as equally responsible for what unfolds, regardless of the picture of what my role is, not being the appointed ‘leader.’
In such a scenario, when I have taken responsibility, my energy levels and enjoyment have both skyrocketed, and I have felt the positive impact I have had on those around me.
This scenario could be related to any aspect of life and the wider societies we all live in. Do we say, “That’s someone else’s job,” or “Can’t someone else do it?” or do we initiate, take the lead, set the example, make things happen, and stand up for it when we know something is corrupt, not true, or just needs doing?
And if we are someone who is used to leading, the opposite can be true. We can provide support to others to take the lead – a table captain gently inspiring others to be captains too. The most beautiful thing about being the table captain is that we are tending to the needs of others, yet we are nourished deeply from the way we then allow ourselves to naturally be.
By Stephen Gammack, Sydney