Wednesday, June 14, 2023

One Teaspoon At A Time

One Teaspoon at a Time

Ever play the game “telephone” or “gossip” where one person whispers a sentence to another person next to him or her and it goes around a circle? In the end, the sentence is generally distorted. It’s fun to see how the words or meaning change. This post may be a bit like that game.


My father told me a story once about a conversation between Churchill and Stalin. That was long before the internet. I can’t find any reference to it at all. But the story has guided me through many daunting tasks in life. So, in the spirit of trying to pass on a bit of good advice, I’m sharing it here.


As the story goes, Churchill and Stalin met. They were walking by a pool of water left from a fountain. Stalin purportedly challenged the Prime Minister of England by saying, “You are such a small country. How do you propose to win such a big war?”


Churchill sat down by the pool and pulled out a teaspoon. (I guess tea drinkers carry their own spoons…uh…back to the story… )


Anyway, Churchill pulled out the teaspoon, dipped it in the pool, and poured the water on the ground. He looked up at Stalin and said “One teaspoon at a time.”


I’ve leaned into that story often. 


Getting through college? One semester at a time. Sometimes one assignment at a time…or simply one lecture.


Raising a family? One moment at a time. One school year. One crisis at a time.


Writing a book? Same thing. One word at a time. Writing for me starts with a simple idea. The idea is captured in a single sentence. Soon, I’m crafting characters to carry out the notion I’ve set forth. They, like real people, run into obstacles and I have to bail them out…one paragraph at a time.


You get the idea. Whether it is planting a garden, building a dollhouse …no, make that three dollhouses …for my granddaughters, crocheting an afghan, or writing a novel, life is a step-by-step, moment-by-moment process.

Inspire me...and others. Share your own "one teaspoon at a time experience." We'll let Winston keep his. 

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