Vessel

ves·sel
/ˈvesəl/

Noun
1. A hollow container, especially one used to hold liquid, such as a bowl or cask.
2. A ship or large boat.

We are very much like a vessel. At birth, we know nothing but how to breathe, and even that we sometimes have to be “encouraged” to do with a little tap on the back by the doctor, in the first moments of life. From that point on, for the rest of our lives, we are filled up with things. We learn to cry for food, for items and actions necessary for our comfort. Eventually, we are filled with knowledge necessary to speak, then read and write and perform arithmetic. This process continues until we become adults. Some of us learn just what we need to know to hold a job, others of us seek new knowledge as a lifelong pursuit. Always, we are available to be filled with new knowledge and information, like a pitcher or vase, glass or cask. We begin as a hollow container, we become filled throughout life.

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Much of what we hold, as vessels, are beliefs, opinions and information. Some of these are destined to change as we learn more or obtain new, more relevant information. Like a pitcher or vase, glass or cask, we can pour out what we no longer consider useful and be filled with knowledge or information that we prefer or can benefit better from. The beauty and utility of vessels are they are reusable many times over, they can always be filled with what we want to enjoy at each moment in time. Consider the coffee carafe, we fill it with fresh, hot coffee and fill our cup, and can even offer some to our guests. When the coffee in the carafe becomes too cold to enjoy, we can pour it out and refill the vessel. We are really no different.

Ideally, at some point in our lives, in our careers or as parents, or perhaps as volunteers, we can share some of the knowledge and information we have with others. We can share, we can teach or mentor. It is a fact that the best way to truly learn a topic or skill is to teach it to someone else. Like a vessel, a pitcher or vase, a glass or cask, we can pour out some of our contents for others.

Consider, now, the other use of the word “vessel”; a large ship or boat. This, too, is a container that is used to hold things. The area in which things are stored is, actually, called the “hold”. Of course a ship can hold far more than a pitcher or vase, glass or cask. And with a ship, it also moves forward, often great distances, bringing its contents to many others. A ship’s contents benefit many people far and wide. If we are all like vessels, which type of vessel would you rather be? One that holds a small amount of knowledge or information and makes it available to a few intimates? Or a great, large ship, moving about the world bringing large amounts of good things to many, many people? I think I’d like to be more like the second type of vessel.

We are limitless, as humans, in our ability to hold knowledge and information. I can remember lyrics to almost any song I enjoyed at any time during my life. It is amazing. I am always impressed by the amount of knowledge sports fans can recall about their teams and even individual players, including statistics and very specific dates. Incredible. And yet, if you ask me anything about math or science classes I took in high school or college, or to cite tax regulations, I would be of no use. Yet, I know people who can do these things. When we are passionate about something, when we believe in something very strongly, we are like the largest vessel on the ocean in our ability to share our gifts.

In our effort to evolve, I think it is important to consider what we know, and more importantly, what we need to know. Whether we are trying to become healthier, or develop better relationships with people in our lives, have a successful intimate relationship, dissolve self-imposed limitations, take on new challenges, overcome fear, or overcome victimization, there is knowledge and information we need to obtain. There may also be some deep-seated beliefs we need to “pour out” and “refresh” in order to evolve, make progress and achieve our desired results.

Over the past few years, I feel as though I have dumped out most of the contents of my vessel and have refilled it, now, with that which has carried me through many personal trials and eventual triumphs. I am hoping to be able to share some of my experiences, knowledge and resources with other people who may find them useful, informative or beneficial. Whether I am a pitcher or an ocean going vessel, I have plenty that I’d like to offer to as many people as possible. And in this manner, I will continue to learn and grow, to fill my own vessel, the contents of which I can continue to share. As you evolve and change and grow, as you follow your own personal path to fulfillment, I encourage you to share what you learn along the way. Don’t be afraid to pour out what you know and believe, for the benefit of others, or to refill yourself with more useful knowledge and information. You are the vessel and you get to choose your own contents. There is no shortage, you have no limits, and no one can take that from you!

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