Johnnie Moore

The chopsticks in hell

A little story about the perils of social media, and trying too hard to get what we want
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

The perils of trying too hard to make things happen

Transcript of this video:

The story is told of a man getting to the pearly gates and is a little surprised to find that Saint Peter actually offers him a quick guided tour of heaven and hell before he makesa choice.

He’s a little surprised by this, but accepts the offer, and Saint Peter and him, they go down to hell, but it’s dinner time in hell.

And he’s slightly surprised to find that the tables are set for a rather magnificent banquet, but the diners have been given these extraordinary, extraordinarily long chopsticks, chopsticks that are longer than their arms, and so they’re all desperately trying to feed themselves, but they can’t actually bend their arm and get the food into their mouths.

And the visitor opines that this is obviously a very exquisite form of torture. And he says to Saint Peter, so I suppose in heaven you get regular length chopsticks.

And Saint Peter says, oh no, we use the same chopsticks in heaven, but in heaven we feed each other.

I think of this little story sometimes when I’m on the receiving end of rather too many marketing and manipulative messages on social media. And I think in our modern world, we are using our technology for rather selfish purposes. And because most of us, or many of us are trying to do it, we end up in a rather tortured experience and we’re not really feeding each other.

I think we’re doing that in our meetings as well when we’re trying too hard to make things happen often for quite selfish reasons.

I also think of a rather funny line from the ouevre of Woody Allen where he says something like, “my heart’s desire is to forge the conscience of my nation in the smithy of my soul, and then see if I can get it mass produced in plastic.”

We might start out with good intentions, but our greed for scale can often make us rather selfish.
And I think we become rather ineffective.

And in and in my work,many of the most successful meetings are ones where they’re able to let go somewhat of making things happen useful, though that sometimes is, and they’re getting better at sensing what is going on where the conversation space is a bit more relaxed,and we can talk a bit more about what we’re noticing and what we’re observing and what’s going on.

In that sense, we are using our knowledge and our information and perhaps our technology to feed each other with information rather than just trying to rushedly make things happen.


Photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

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