The Depth of a Person

by Jake Wiskerchen

My son is 20 months old. He just opened (read: had me take out of the package) a Pez dispenser for the first time. He is fascinated by its “head,” which is a Death Star, and how it slides in and out of the spring-loaded box. What he does not yet realize – mostly because his mother prohibits him (read: prohibits me) from filling it with candy – is that it can be loaded with candy. This candy can even be dispensed, not only to him for his enjoyment but to others as well.

Set the story aside for a moment and think about your own life. The depth of who you are and who you could be is analogous to the Pez dispenser. You think you know a great deal about yourself based on outward appearance and function, but how much of your own depth are you aware, really? Could you hold even more, deep down inside of you?

The answer is obvious: of course you could! The human capacity knows no bounds! As a dear friend once taught me, “If a human has done it, it is human nature.” Therefore, if you are a human, you have within you the nature to do anything that any other human has ever done. Considering all that humans have done across time, that is some real power.

I am admittedly bothered when people say, “I can’t…” when it pertains to a mental hurdle. I am not talking about physical abilities, of course. I understand that at 5’4” and not having ridiculous fast-twitch muscle fiber, my wife “can’t” dunk a basketball. Or at least not on a regulation hoop. But mentally, she – like all of us – is capable of anything. Just like my toddler is. Just like you are.

People will often look at what they think they know about themselves and then attempt to define all of themselves by it. That same good friend also told me, “To define is to confine” so when we confine ourselves, we sell short our full potential. In other words, the Pez dispenser is not merely a plastic toy with a spring; it can also spring-load candy into your hand. The only thing that has to occur is for someone to recognize that potential and then help actualize it. Someone has to help you load your candy.

My son, at his age, cannot understand that his toy is more than what he sees. It requires me, his mother, his grandparents, and many others around him to help him see all that it can be for him. And maybe one day someone (read: his dad) will help him see that it can be melted down with a blowtorch. In the garage, of course. With safety glasses. And gloves. Under perfectly controlled conditions.

But I digress, and the point is that the Pez dispenser is FAR more than a spring-loaded box with a “head” shaped like a Death Star. It is also a candy dispenser and, in the hands of a creative person, more than that.  

Each of us has an ability to hold candy inside us and then, more importantly, distribute it to others. Are you willing to see that or are you content with limiting yourself to being merely a spring-loaded head on a box simply because it is what you think you know?

All humans have areas they cannot see. You would be unkind to point them out to others without being asked, so instead I invite you to examine your own blind spots. Just for today, open yourself up to the possibility that you are deeper than you have yet realized. Ask others where you have potential yet unseen. Let people fill those blind spots with goodness to share with others.  

You have a lot more to you than you think you do. Trust me: the world would like to see it.