Long spoon.

Just last week, I was working with a kindergarten teacher. We were working together with a small group during reading workshop. The rest of the kids were scattered across the room, reading independently. A student came up to our group with weepy eyes. “I miss my mom,” he said. I knew in that moment, if we didn’t address his feelings, he wouldn’t be able to move on with his day. After a quick hug, I told him that sometimes, when we miss people, we can write them a note, to let them know we are thinking of them. So we did just that. That’s all it took to get that little guy feeling better and back to his reading.

All week long, I’ve been living with the image of a beautiful table filled with delicious foods while holding a spoon too long to reach my own mouth. The solution? Feed others. This image came from my pal Peter’s post, Daily Coincidences or Just a Connection, where he shared a parable from David Kessler. Peter reflected and wrote, “We do have solutions in front of us. We CAN support our fellow grievers, but we have to look toward others, not focusing on how best to help ourselves, but how best to take care of others.”

Over the course of this week, I’ve shared this story with others, wanting to really tackle this and talk about how we really look towards others. I can’t help but stop myself in certain moments and wonder, am I just taking care of myself? How can I shift this to see others? I also view others in situations and have the same wonders.

I had a decently good week at work last week. I did some work that I was proud of and collaborated in ways that help me to see that we are moving forward. Yet, my proudest moment was that moment with the kindergartener who missed his mom. We can support one another.. and that feels good. I’ll be carrying my extra long spoon around from now on, reevaluating my place in the universe.

12 thoughts on “Long spoon.

  1. You’ve always set a really good example of using your long spoon to help others. I know we sometimes have to take care of ourselves, but there is something so satisfying about helping others and feeling like part of that kind of team. Credit to David Kessler for that fable. I’m reading his book now.


  2. I remember reading of that long spoon many years ago in Reader’s Digest – that we are equipped to feed one another, to consider one another’s needs. It is an indelible image of selflessness. Reminds me of an interesting translation of a Bible verse I encountered recently: “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” This echoes in my mind all the time now. Those unforced rhythms are there in this moment with your kindergartener. “Re-evaluating my place in the universe” – such power in that.


  3. As with other comments, whether you know it or not, you have always carried that long spoon every where you go. It’s just a part of who you are we are all better for it — adults and children!


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