Monday, August 01, 2011
Chopsticks: an object lesson
I started making myself use chopsticks. Like, MADE myself. I watched YouTube videos to help me suck at it less. When they were an option at a restaurant, I put my fork as far away from me as possible.
The thought process began, "I don't know how to use chopsticks. I would like to. I like to always learn new things."
The experience has been so much more than that.
I know, I know: chopsticks. Really? Christine is such a freak that she will talk about two wooden sticks as though they are some universal life lesson?
Maybe. It's nothing earth shattering, but has been significant enough that I bought my own set of chopsticks for home. Here goes ...
Chopsticks make you slow down.
When learning to use chopsticks, I was able to get approximately two grains of rice in my mouth for every fifth attempt at a mouthful. It was comical. I have always been a shoveler when I eat. I overstuff my fork/spoon/mouth. I inhale only, because actual breathing can wait til after your plate is clean. It's a mere inconvenience.
Chopsticks create more portion control (unless your sushi roll bite is monstrous, but for the sake of this object lesson, let's not go there). They force you to be a bit more meticulous. Even when your ability improves, it will never match the ease and quantitative properties inherent to regular silverware. With chopsticks, food tastes better and the experience lasts longer.
I need a set of parenting chopsticks for those days when I want to wish my kids away to an older age or newer stage of development.
I need a set of weekday chopsticks for the times I'm wanting to skip past Wednesday and Thursday because something special and fun is happening on Friday.
I need a set of relational chopsticks for moments when I'm not stopping and making a slow connection with a person.
Just like when you slow down in life ... when you slow down with chopsticks, you break down the bigger picture into smaller, more meaningful portions. The experiences taste better because you take time to actually taste them.
You're also a lot less gassy.