The Parable of the “Last.”

My children spent the better part of their childhood listening to their ol’ dad preaching, “never take the last of anything,”

I’ve gotten a few eye roles over the years, but I believe that simple bit of wisdom has taken root in one or two of them, as evidenced by the bread bag with one lonely slice, or the ice cream carton with but one spoonful left in the bottom. It’s a small price to pay for such an important, but often overlooked sliver of wisdom.

Below; you will find the final installment in our “parable” series. We are waiting on the final tally to decide whether or not it will be an ongoing thing. The subject is “the Last.” What does that mean? Well…read on.

Oft times I look back and think maybe, just maybe, I was a little too rough on them. But every now and then, something happens that brings it all into focus, and I stop hating myself so much. We were at a big box store recently when my daughter noticed some leftover Christmas toys which were on clearance. As a kid does, she fumbled with it for a second and noticed there were only two of them left. She sat the toy back on the shelf and went to fetch her mother. She gave little mind to the lady standing beside her, loading her buggy with armloads of clearance items.

In just a second she and her mother returned to get the toy. They rounded the corner just in time to watch the aforementioned lady sweep most every toy into her cart. The lady looked at the girl with a smirk and left with her treasures.

“But she took the last one”, said my daughter. She simply couldn’t wrap her head around what she had just witnessed.

Fast forward to today.

The two of us were forced to make the miserable trip to the grocery store,(queue collective groan). We were standing in front of the meat counter, rubbing our noggins and in complete sticker shock.

“Makes ye wanna swear off meat don’t it?” I looked to my right, and there stood an elderly man. Thin and frail, dressed in worn bib overalls and a long-sleeved button-down shirt. He continued; Gettin’ to a point where I and the misses have about sworn it off, cain’t afford it nowadays.

We enjoyed a short conversation, mostly about politics and rising prices, when I noticed some chicken that was on “managers special.” You guessed it, there were two of them. I said my goodbyes, shook his hand, and continued our shopping. I put one in my cart but left the other.

What about the other one, asked my daughter. We walked a few feet away, and I told her to just watch for a second. Sure enough, once we had left, the elderly gentleman walked to the counter and put the chicken in his cart. My daughter grinned and we went on our way. Why did we leave that last pack of chicken? You think about that for a while. NEVER TAKE THE LAST OF ANYTHING.

Compare these two, where do you fit in?

What’s the point in all this you may ask? Well…the point is this.

Contrary to popular opinion; life is not a race.

The one with the most toys doesn’t win.

It is not now, nor has it ever been just you against the world.

Like it or not, our job on this earth is to care for the people around us, especially those we will never meet again.

Always, and I mean ALWAYS, take care of the person behind you, it may be a burden, but it’s probably not as heavy as the weight they are bearing compared to yours.

You are the only gospel they might be exposed to today

The point is… please take care of the one behind you. No, you may not get any reward, but that’s not the point. The point is, you sacrifice just a tiny amount for the other. Leave the last piece of chicken, pay for the person behind you at the drive-through, open the door for the person behind you, and NEVER I mean never…take the last of ANYTHING.

No. people may not, and probably won’t notice the small sacrifices you make, but that’s the point ain’t it? Nobody needs to notice, that’s the beauty in the thing. It’s the inward, not the outward, so please think about this tomorrow morning. Maybe…feel a bit guilty, and that’s a good thing.

Folks… we are all in this together…

Folks as usual we thank you for your time in reading our humble posts, and once again Thank You for your effort. Please share with a friend or two. we need the publicity.


Meriam Webster

One thought on “The Parable of the “Last.”

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  1. Beautiful. My dad grew up in the Depression and told of a time when they were invited to someone’s house and had pork chops. Meat was precious and he started to reach for the last one when his mother slapped his hand so hard it burned. Then he got some more when he got home. Never take the last of anything. I try to be that way when I can.


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