The young couple was deeply in love, and their parents could not have been prouder.
Both families wanted the holiday wedding celebration to be the finest and grandest the village had ever seen, yet both families were poor beyond description.
The families had an idea. They would put their limited resources together and bring a fine feast to everyone in the village. They asked all the guests only to bring a flask of red wine and everyone agreed. The parents assured everyone that they would manage the rest.
The wedding day arrived, and marital vows were exchanged as the parents and everyone in the village watched. After the ceremony, bride, groom, and parents stood at the front of the reception line and greeted everyone. Each guest moved past the greeting line and poured the contents of their humble clay containers into the huge celebration urn for later enjoyment.
After greeting the last guest, the proud fathers of the wedding couple dipped their wine glasses deep into the clay urn to toast the couple’s future together and to say thank you to everyone for coming and contributing.
As the two men raised their glasses out of the urn, everyone realized that their glasses were not filled with red wine. Their glasses were clear and filled with water.
The proud moment turned to sadness, and looking out amongst the guests, everyone realized they had played a part in turning a holiday wedding into a disappointing example of what happens when people do not deliver on their promises.
Each of the guests had thought, nobody will notice if my flask is filled with water, as all the others will bring wine. This was the thinking of all the guests, each believing that if they did not do their part, nobody would notice.
This story is a gentle reminder of what happens when we fail to recognize how important our contribution is to the customer, a teammate, and our organization.
It is easy to make contributions when we have something important at stake. However, if we are honest with ourselves, can each of us say that we bring “our full flask of wine” to everything we do?
Bring your contributions to the holiday season, and beyond!