Choir Notes

The Lesson of the Spoon
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4368

Sometimes we can learn great life lessons from the simple things around us. Have you ever looked at your reflection in a spoon? When the inward-curving, concave side is turned toward us, our image is reflected upside down. But if we turn the spoon around so it is facing away from us, we appear right side up again.

Perhaps this simple truth about spoons applies to life as well. When we turn ourselves inward, getting wrapped up in our own worries and our own concerns, our life can become distorted, as upside down as our reflection in the spoon. We become self-absorbed and maybe even self-pitying—a path that leads to discouragement and misery. Problems seem larger than they really are, our life can feel out of control, and contentment eludes us.

We can correct this the same way we correct our reflection in the spoon—by turning to face outward. When we turn toward others, taking interest in their lives and serving those in need, life is right side up, as it should be. This is the secret to making our life better—seeking to make life better for someone else. When we focus upon serving and being useful, we feel valued and important. Our joy and satisfaction automatically increase.

Psychologists have confirmed the connection between service and happiness, well-being, self-worth—even physical health and longevity.1 Even more convincingly, people who have given of themselves in selfless service can confirm from their own experience that life is better when we focus on others instead of ourselves.

The great philanthropist Albert Schweitzer spoke from personal experience when he said: "I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know. The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”2 Turning toward others really is the key to keeping life right side up.

1 See Philip Moeller, "Why Helping Others Makes Us Happy,” U.S. News, Apr. 4, 2012, http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/04/04/why-helping-others-makes-us-happy.
2 In Maura D. Shaw, Ten Amazing People and How They Changed the World (2002), 36.

No comments:

Christmas Countdown