The Secret to Exceptional Teamwork and Insightful Inclusion? – They Can Start With One Spontaneous Act of Kindness.
Inspiration For Eroding Inclusion Roadblocks:
A humble and wise man twinkled as he told me of the Parable of the Long Spoons as we were brought some chopsticks to do justice to a delicious feast. I’m used to these wonderful wise connections now as I delight in his alternate way of seeing the world. I share with him how great his insight is, knowing how important it is for us all to be acknowledged and heard.
My friend has struggled with neurodiversity all his life. I understand the pervasive effect carrying a stigma can have. I have struggled with how society, employers, even my parents sometimes, have seen the disabilities as flaws of something that has gone wrong. Most of the time we cover up our ‘imperfect’ selves and usually forget about them completely. We are ALL driven, focused and talented in our own unique ways. It’s only relatively recently that I’ve become convinced it’s far better to “come out” and be all of who I am. I’m finally comfortable it’s the grit that makes us interesting, wise and can give us the confidence to consciously step outside our comfort zones and grow as a human being. Since accepting I have been diagnosed with MS in addition to a genetic sight impairment, my vision of knowing what my life is for has ironically got clearer and more vivid. My way of using the tools I have is different, my gifts are special and will not be wasted.
With experience of so many cultures, organisations and environments I know that deep down we have more in common than we have differences. We are at our best when we find creative ways to pull together. Our magic springs from being ourselves and matures into evolving in relationship with others, creating, adapting, celebrating and supporting together around a compelling mission.
Being a curious soul, I couldn’t resist researching into where the Long Spoons allegory came from. How did my friend’s creative mind take him from chopsticks to what seemed a meaningful model for collaboration and connection, one with acts of kindness at the core? What I was to discover was a timeless message that is translated into several spiritual traditions and cultures, using simply the tools that are fitting in each society. Impossibly long chopsticks and spoons can all be hugely unwieldy if they are not fashioned for their users.
How wonderful that just by seeing a bundle of innocent-looking chopsticks so much could be conjured up. I’m grateful for the introduction to the Long Spoons allegory as chopsticks will now always remind me of 4 very important lessons:
- The spark for societal shifts in behaviour starts with one person
- The formula for change = an awareness of self and others + caring for self and others + follow through with action (will)
- We can become at our best selves when others are involved
- We all get to be more nourished by this experience.
The result can be a harmonious and plentiful Community where all live peacefully and are well fed. In contrast, the mindless pursuit of Individualistic strategies can results in starvation and the decline of the community. In my mission in furthering Inclusion, I’ll be remembering those Long Spoons. How our conscious mind makes this happen and our unconscious mind gets involved is equally fascinating