Saturday, November 14, 2009

The broken sandwich

M cries after opening his lunch box. I sit next to him and ask him: "What happened?” He says, while crying inconsolably: “My sandwich is broken”.

His mom cuts the sandwich in 4 different pieces and 2 parts where falling apart. I ask him: “What do you want to do about it?” He cries “Fix it”. I ask: How do we fix it?” His crying starts to go away and he puts one piece together. He asks me “What about this piece?” The second piece did not have a top because it was attached to another piece. So I separate the pieces and put it on top. He looks at the sandwich for a second and then cleans his tears with his sleeve and starts to eat. After a second, I ask him “So, what do we do when our sandwich is broken?” He smiles and says: “We fix it”.

It was easier for me to fix the sandwich but I will not have taught him anything. I can see how he felt empowered afterwards. I was just a guide in the process. It also made me think about situations in life. We sometimes focus too much on the problem and the feelings instead of looking for solutions. Only when WE find the solution, we feel we are in control of the situation and not the other way around.

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