When you take a simple thing like a cocoa bean, or sugar or even cow’s milk singularly, you may not see anything at all remarkable or extraordinary. But who would have guessed that, as an addendum to a long and adventurous journey in discovering a new world, these ordinary elements would work in concert together to become one of the great culinary discoveries of all time…chocolate. The fact that this culinary marvel has delighted us for centuries isn’t all that surprising, but what is surprising is how all these simple ingredients fell together. Independently each ingredient is less significant when standing alone, but a true masterpiece when blended together. The truly amazing part about the interaction betweem all the players in the development of chocolate, namely the Mayans, Aztecs, Columbus, Cortez and some Spanish monks, is individually they never intended to discover a new food. The creation of chocolate is only one example of what can happen when simple elements of different worlds unwittingly merge and emerge into something entirely new and different. The key is to believe that there is a hidden potential in every person, place and thing in this world. We all may see ourselves at one time or another as less than significant in comparison to others with seemingly more obvious gifts. But what if, like the elements of chocolate, we just need to blend in a few more ingredients…uncover a more hidden and greater gift that only is brought about through the cooperation of other elements? The creation of chocolate is the perfect metaphor for the movie in my head: there is always something wonderful that can come out of any journey, even if it is unintentional. The challenge is to believe that any road can lead to something new and better. But we need to have faith in the infinite potential of the combining of gifts. Every person’s gifts are simply magnified and enhanced through others. None of us are insignificant islands…we all matter, even when it isn’t clear how. I do believe that approaching the world as one teeming with potential will guarantee a better future than approaching the world with fear and suspicion.