Some weeks ago, a friend of mine in reaction to a comment sent a sticker with the inscription, “Life is a spoon”, to me. Since then, the metaphor has stuck to my mind and it has been welling up different shades of meaning in my head. I believe the nugget is helpful to students especially and everyone at large to navigate through the unchartered seas of life.
Isn’t life a spoon? Why would a 300-level student of Industrial Design in one of our public universities commit suicide last Saturday, January 21, 2023? Why does Nigeria have the highest rate of suicide and depression in Africa? Why are suicide cases so common these days that 700,000 people take their own lives globally, according to the World Health Organisation?
That life is a spoon is a compelling way of accepting life as it is, a phenomenon that rotates or stirs its contents like a spoon in a jar filled with water or grains. Whatever is yours ultimately comes to you and if it hasn’t come yet, it will. You won’t miss whatever is yours. That you don’t have it means it is not yours.
Life will keep on stirring up challenges, troubles and illnesses. Life will always throw up sadness, happiness, failure, success, hunger, satisfaction and all to men and women. There is nothing personal about it and it is our responsibility to take life as it is. When the good happens to you, such is life and don’t be exultant or assume that those who do not have it yet or at all are bad or lazy. If it is the bad side of life that is stirred towards you, don’t be despondent or hard on yourself. It may not be your fault. It is just life.
Everything is fine because ultimately, the spoon continues its job of stirring and stirring up the expected and the unexpected. No one will pass through this life without experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly portions at one time or another. How we react to such ripples of life makes all the difference between the discerning and the undiscerning. Whenever the unexpected happens, analyse it and deal with it. When you are lucky to experience the desirable, just be grateful.
Meanwhile, that life is a spoon is also indicative of the spoon’s resilience and endurance. The spoon has no control over what it scoops or stirs. It may be put in a hot teacup or be used to stir peppery soup. The spoon may end up in the stinking mouth of a mad man and be used by playful children to scoop mud. It may be used to lift sugar and pass honey too.
In all these, the spoon has no choice than to yield to the control of the hand that holds it. In life, there are many situations we have no control over. If anything is beyond our control, we let it slide the way it is and thereby attain inner peace and serenity. Like a spoon, the situation will change as after stirring through the unfriendly scenario, it will come out.
Also, life is a spoon in the sense that everything is measure by measure. Until we have a bigger spoon, we take the apportioned measurements as served. If your portion is a spoonful, that is it. If it is two or more, you get it and move on. Be contented with what you have and do your best to make the best of it. At a later stage by education, training or personal development, a bigger spoon will be used to serve you your worth. Be patient.
This is why there is no end to self-improvement. You can acquire more skills to receive more income. You can study harder to get better grades. You can obtain more certificates, acquire new knowledge, increase your value and get a bigger spoon. You are served according to your worth but if you are not being served your worth, you can go to where a bigger spoon that you deserve will be used for you. Be persevering.
Ultimately, as Luana DeAngelis once wrote, “It’s our task to clear the sediment so that we can remain clear when the spoon starts stirring.” Yes, you will get sick. You will be hurt. You will be sad. In fact, people dear to you will die. You will lose a job or position. Many things will happen to you but nothing is personal because life moves on and the spoon keeps stirring. Nevertheless, be grateful and take nothing for granted.