I sat in the middle of my kitchen, boxes strewn about, just trying to find the carton with my spices. I wanted to cook, I wanted to make this place my home. And one of the best ways to do that is to share a meal - to gather with my family at the newly-placed table and share a meal. Chicken cooked on my stove top, potatoes boiled in a pan but I needed to find my spices.

After searching through various boxes, the fourth attempt proved the worthy one. I found my sea salt, my pepper grinder, some garlic and marjoram and my kids' favorite, Monterey Steak spice blend. We put it on chicken. too. The seasonings worked together to produce a familiar smell while cooking and a recognizable taste while eating. Following our meal, I stood at the sink washing the last of the dishes and looked around. We were home. My spices found a place in my newly-papered cupboard. And while my spice rack may be unconventional, it is very functional.

Like the myriad of spices I love to use and the pans that are my favorites, we find a way to make the best possible blend, the best possible use. Sometimes, parties are not meant to mesh, to work together. But sometimes, a particular merging will surprise you. We often think that those we surround ourselves with, those with whom we work, should think like us and act like us in order for us to work well together. Not true. It is our uniqueness, our differences that drive new thoughts, different approaches.

If when I create a meal for my family, I fail to use a variety of spices, for instance, I only use salt - then our meal will be too salty. Or I stick to straight pepper or chiles or none at all, then our dish will be too peppery or too hot or too bland. Variety truly is the spice of life. Working with someone very different than you may seem difficult but imagine the incredible collaborating that could take place. The brainstorming sessions, the zeal of two different mindsets and experience coming together is what drives great ideas and incredible innovation.

I love a good old-fashioned tussle of the minds - the convincing and conniving that is requisite to go down a new and different path. I think my favorite times at work are when differences of opinion ignite an impassioned discussion or a gauntlet is thrown down. This is when real strategy is developed, when genuine work gets done. I have learned though, that if I listen more than I challenge that we all benefit. Every once in a while, however, I like to throw a big old chile in the pot. C'mon, I can't have it too bland, eh?

©by rayannethorn

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I agree with you about varying view points. I have found that I learn much more from people who have differing world views than I would if I only stuck to people like me. Life would be boring if we were all a like.

Now I need to go find some lunch...strangely, I am craving chicken.

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