Inside Matters

I set a world record last week.

For failure.

Unofficial it may be, but I am pretty sure this particular record will go unchallenged.

I was wrapping a pass-the-parcel.

I added layer upon layer.

I made sure that, within each layer, there was a little surprise for the opener to discover.

I ended up with a not bad looking parcel.

If you allow for the fact that it was wrapped in newspaper, anyway.

Feeling pleased, I sat back and admired it.

I even took a photo.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something.

Something that I shouldn’t have been able to see.

Because it should have been beneath the layer upon layer upon layer I was smugly admiring.

Along with the other prize in the middle of the parcel.

I’d been so busy focussing on the outer layers that I’d forgotten to include a crucial part in the centre.

The outer layers may have looked good, but that didn’t matter.

Because I’d forgotten about the inside.

As I unwrapped layer after layer,

placed the crucial bit in the centre,

and repeated the action of wrapping layer after layer after layer,

I had time to think.

Plenty of time.

At first, my thoughts were preoccupied with berating myself.

How had I messed this up?

Who gets wrapping a parcel wrong?

What a waste of time.

Not to mention paper.

And sticky-tape.

How had I managed to miss the centre out?

Thoughts moved from berating myself to questioning myself.

How had I managed to overlook the centre?

The most important part?

And I realised it was because I hadn’t checked.

I’d assumed that it was all there.

Was all ok.

But I hadn’t checked.

I’d been too busy trying to make sure that I had a half decent looking parcel.

And I’d forgotten about the main thing:

I thought about my life.

Circumstances I come across.

People I meet.


How often do I remember that, beneath layer upon layer upon layer,

deep inside,

lies what really matters?

And it really matters that what really matters doesn’t get overlooked.

It really,














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