It’s time for my favourite Christmas story!
Experienced readers will know this is not your standard Christmas story. In fact, it’s not a real Christmas story at all. I first heard this story over twenty years ago, and when the holiday season rolled around, it was the first thing I thought of. So I’ve been posting it every year, and will do so until further notice:
One night, Confucius had a dream about chopsticks.
In the dream, he was transported to Hell, where he saw multitudes of people sitting at enormous tables set out with wonderful foods of all kinds. There was so much food that the tables groaned under the weight and the various delightful aromas made the mouth water. But while the people sitting at the tables were obviously hungry (and hangry), they hadn’t touched any of it.
They had been told they could eat as much as they liked but only if they used chopsticks that were five feet long. None of them could figure out how to eat with five-foot-long chopsticks—it was impossible, an unsolvable problem. So all they could do was stare helplessly at the delectable yet untouchable feast only inches away and cry in hunger, misery, and despair.
Then Confucius was taken to heaven where he again saw lots of people sitting around enormous tables laden with glorious foods. They, too, had been told they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted but with the same proviso: they could use only five-foot-long chopsticks.
These people, however, weren’t crying with hunger and misery and despair. They were eating their fill, talking and laughing together, enjoying themselves.
Because in heaven, they were feeding each other.
My friends, whatever holiday you celebrate, however you celebrate it, I hope it’s heavenly.