It has been years since we had a television and the only thing I miss is my cooking shows. Go figure. I especially love it when you can see someone grow, take a risk, push themselves, or step forward with integrity. One of the shows I enjoy watching on YouTube is Master Chef. While I prefer the other countries over the US version most episodes, I have been struck by two episodes of Master Chef US where the judges gave those who had the least successful dishes the opportunity to act from a place of integrity.
I can only begin to imagine the pressure contestants on cooking shows are under. To want to stay in a competition which will give you additional training and mentoring as you begin to move into a new career is important. To then voluntarily leave, knowing it is the right thing to do, takes courage, integrity, and honesty. I appreciated in the two episodes I saw this happen how the judges gave the home chefs the opportunity to leave on their own. As you watched the contestants you could see the struggle within them. You could see the battle between wanting to stay and grow and knowing your opponent deserved to be the one to stay more than you.
I have never been put in a position where I have had to make such a challenging decision, however, I do know what it is like to live with integrity. I have done and said things that at the time I could stand behind. However, as I changed I found I could no longer stand behind what I had said or done. I had to own my original position or action, but also own that I have grown and evolved and gained new understandings in the process.
In a redemption episode of Chopped, I hear some of the cheftestants make similar comments. At the time they prepared a dish in the original episode, they thought it was their best. However, over time their understanding of ingredients, techniques, and plating has continued to grow and evolve. So it is not that the dishes they made originally were not their best at that moment, but they no longer viewed them as they best they could have done.
Our lives, in and out of the kitchen, are filled with opportunities for us to exhibit our integrity. May we challenge ourselves to always do what we know is the right to thing to do in our lives, even if that understanding changes over time.