The Order of the Teaspoon
On the 17th of August 2006, in Stockholm, Sweden, The Order of the Teaspoon was launched with enthusiasm and festivity in the presence of its spiritual originator, Amos Oz. The organisations motto and message is “Together for diversity and tolerance” and was inspired by the following words by Amos Oz from his book “How to cure a fanatic”.
“I believe that if one person is watching a huge calamity, let’s say a conflagration, a fire, there are always three principle options.
1. Run away, as far away and as fast as you can and let those who cannot run burn.
2. Write a very angry letter to the editor of your paper demanding that the responsible people be removed from office with disgrace. Or, for that matter, launch a demonstration.
3.Bring a bucket of water and throw it on the fire, and if you don’t have a bucket, bring a glass, and if you don’t have a glass, use a teaspoon, everyone has a teaspoon. And yes, I know a teaspoon is little and the fire is huge but there are millions of us and each one of us has a teaspoon. Now I would like to establish the Order of the Teaspoon. People who share my attitude, not the run away attitude, or the letter attitude, but the teaspoon attitude – I would like them to walk around wearing a little teaspoon on the lapel of their jackets, so that we know that we are in the same movement, in the same brotherhood, in the same order, The Order of the Teaspoon.
In Sweden people are now wearing a little teaspoon on the lapel of their jacket or around their necks as proof of their membership, in the same brotherhood as Amos Oz. Of the money that they have paid for the spoon, half goes to manufacturing the spoon (in real silver, created by well-known designer Lo Pettersson), the other half goes to a fund that each year gives grants to projects and people who contribute to society in the spirit of the Order: Together for diversity and tolerance.
DON’T BE A FELLOW RACIST – SPEAK OUT!
Being a silent onlooker when people near you act or express themselves in a racist manner makes you a fellow racist. By clearly speaking out against racist expressions, you contribute to a social climate which reduces the acceptance of intolerant ideas, opinions that can lead to devastating consequences. That is why we encourage you, and others, to speak out against racism in your everyday life.
This is what you can do:
1. INTERRUPT. Prevent the person in question from continuing.
2. PROTEST AGAINST. Call the person’s attention to the fact that what has been said is racist.
3. RAISE YOUR VIEW. Speak to the person who has been subjected to the racist behavior and give him or her your support.
4. REPORT. Speak to your boss at work, report the behavior to the police or get in touch with a guard on duty.
Background and values
The Order of the Teaspoon is the result of a cooperation between Amos Oz’, Swedish publisher Wahlström & Widstrand and the quality magazine Vi (founded in 1913 and owned by the Swedish cooperative movement).
The Order of the Teaspoon is a Swedish foundation engaged in an active dialogue with children and young people to promote tolerance and respect. Intolerance is a growing threat in today’s society.