Frederick is my favorite children’s story. It is about a community of field mouses living in an abandoned barn. All of the mice work together to stock up grain and supplies for winter, except Frederick. Frederick is busy basking in the sun and staring at the sky. When his companions question him about his activity, he tells them he is saving up supplies for the winter.
When winter comes the mice quickly eat all their supplies before spring has arrived. They turn to Frederick and ask him for the “supplies” he gathered. Gathering around him as an audience, they receive Frederick’s supplies as he invokes in them the warmth of the summer sun and the beauty of a summer day. Their hunger and cold dissipate.
I have always loved how the community of mice simply accepted Frederick and never asked him to contribute to the community as anything less than himself. Is it possible for each of us to contribute to our community by simply being? Do we really have to do the things dictated by convention? Can we accept others as they are and value them?