FEED ONE ANOTHER.
Upon his death a man was given a tour of both heaven and hell, so he could select his final destination. First he was taken to hell. He saw a lot of people sitting at a long banquet table loaded with all kinds of delicious food. However, he noticed that all the people seated were unhappy, and looked frustrated. They each had a fork strapped to the left arm and a knife strapped to the right arm – they had no elbows. Each had a four-foot handle which made it impossible for them to eat. With all kinds of good in front of them they were not able to taste any of it. After this scene in hell he was taken on a tour of heaven. He noticed that the people in heaven were also seated at a long banquet table loaded with all kinds of delicious good. There was a difference here because he noticed that the people here were cheerful and enjoying themselves. They also had forks and knives with a four-foot handle – they had no elbows. They were busy eating because they were feeding each other. Each person in heaven was feeding the one across the table from him and was being fed in return. The people in hell were unable to eat because they were trying to feed only themselves.
This is one of my all time favorite stories.There are different versions of titled, “Long Spoons” which are so worth looking up; as many give greater, more elaborate details – making it even more profound and beautiful.
This story is about interdependence. Interdependence is defined as, “dependence between two or more people, groups, or things; mutually reliant on each other.“ In all aspects of life we experience interdependence – no man is an island (despite many who think they are). Being interdependent is obvious in our personal relationships and family lives.Yet, it’s interesting to reflect on interdependence in the work and business world; heck, even in the blogging world. In business we need people to buy our goods or services; help spread the word, promote us, pay us and so on. When we write, we want (we need) people to read and to interact with us. I think sometimes we feel alone on these different journeys. Maybe not the entire time, but perhaps just down different roads we turn before reaching yet another crossroad. Those are the times of great reflection and times when we need to reach out most. Having someone to relate to – to cheer us on – to go through the mud with makes all the difference. Often, it gives us the strength to be the hand, the shoulder or the rock for the next person at the crossroad of their journey. We learn that the journey never really ends; there’s no final destination, except perhaps at death and even then …
We’ll always have the need for others; others will always need us. I choose to live heaven on earth and feed others in any way I can; hopefully, in the most positive, productive and loving way I can. I am assured too that I will fall, I will fail and I will ask for forgiveness (forgiveness of others and myself).
Do you make the choice to “feed others” or “starve”?
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. Mother Teresa