Many people don’t realize that body parts can talk to each other. They may not have mouths, but they still communicate; it’s just in ways that we cannot hear. Much like people, body parts compare themselves to each other because they want to look their best. On one particular person, one such body part was Tommy the Tummy. Tommy the Tummy had a dream. His dream was to be firm, and he would constantly talk about this to the other body parts. Unfortunately, all of the other body parts would make fun of him because he was far from his goal. However, since they were from the same body, the other body parts weren’t particularly firm themselves; the difference was Tommy was the biggest and most vocal about his goal, so he became the main target. In their eyes at least they weren’t him, and they would celebrate this by mocking his dream. They would call him ‘Tommy is a tub of Tummy,’ ‘Tommy the flabby’ and ‘Tommy so fat he’s a fatty fat-fat-fat’; body parts aren’t particularly mature. Despite this ridicule, Tommy the Tummy tried every day to be as firm as he could; the problem was there was just too much fat to handle. The bottom line was the person Tommy was working with ate too much, and he kept giving Tommy more and more cargo to store. To make matters worse, he gave Tommy more cargo than he gave any other body part whether the arms, the neck, or the butt. The chest muscles certainly had their share to store, but at least there were two of them, and ultimately no one had as much to store as Tommy. Despite this overload, Tommy was optimistic that he could do anything on his own if he put his mind to it. He didn’t need the man he was working for to care because he was going to be the best tummy a tummy can be. Everyday Tommy told himself that he was given more to deal with because he was better at handling it, and one day things would change; he just needed to figure out how to handle all the extra cargo.
One day things suddenly worsened because the person Tommy worked for got married. As bad as this person was before, marriage made him all the worse as there was a sudden influx of cargo needing to be stored. Tommy worked harder and harder to keep things looking okay, but eventually he cracked. One night he was just too worn out from all of the extra work, so Tommy the Tummy gave up. He gave up trying to hide all the fat, and he just let it all hang out. It was like a vat of Jell-O exploded in a plastic bag. Things jiggled and flopped around with the smallest of movements. Tommy the Tummy was tired of doing all the work himself and it was time the person he worked for to realize how bad things really were. Unfortunately, the other body parts didn’t like this decision and made fun of Tommy the Tummy all the more. Sure they liked that they looked better by comparison, but the person they worked for looked absolutely terrible now. They called Tommy weak and unorganized, but Tommy the Tummy didn’t care anymore; he had to do something different; he couldn’t do it all on his own. The next morning the person Tommy worked for woke up to the Jell-Oy mess, and was horrified. Scared and sad because of how he looked, and because of how his wife spoke to him about how he looked, the man Tommy worked for saw a doctor about his problem. The doctor simply laughed and said, “There’s nothing particularly wrong with you. You’re just fat; you eat too much and don’t exercise enough.” He wasn’t a very sensitive doctor. Fortunately, this scared the person Tommy worked for enough that he began to take care of himself better, and because he was married, his wife forced him to take care of himself better. On occasion he would slip up and eat too much, but instead of hiding the fat Tommy purposely made himself look as flabby as possible in order to inspire the person to stay on his diet. Slowly, day by day, month after month, the person Tommy worked for began to lose weight and look better, which meant all of his body parts were looking better. The other body parts stopped making fun of Tommy and he became their hero. They joined him in making the person look as bad as they could when he looked in a mirror in order to inspire him to continue exercising and eating better. Thus, the story of Tommy proves that you can’t do everything yourself, and sometimes we need to let someone fall in order for them to realize something is wrong. If we truly care about someone we will offer guidance, but we will let them face the consequences of their decisions. We should offer support, but we should never prevent them from learning the lesson that needs to be learned. It is not up to us to force people to change or to save them from bad decisions, but it is up to us to be encouraging, supportive, and to focus on fixing ourselves because the best inspiration we can offer is to be a healthy role model.
Rev. Chad David, www.ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people