Freeman Medical Musings


Word Pictures
June 12, 2014

From my earliest memories, I have been an “explainer.” Some people called it long winded and others referred it as a teaching ability. This trait has not decreased as I’ve gotten older. All the earlier descriptions about me can still be true sometimes, and I’ve gained a few additional labels — not all bad. My favorite compliment is from a friend who says I’m the “queen of metaphors.” For myself, I think in pictures and then use words to help communicate my thoughts so others can see what I’m thinking — I call them “word pictures.”

Specializing in children’s mental health, all those metaphors come in handy in my work with children and child-serving professionals. Embarking on the series of blog posts ahead, my plan is to inform and perhaps entertain through these word pictures. Most importantly, I hope you will remember the teaching points and be encouraged to apply them in life — especially to benefit the children in our community. The reason I’m so passionate about helping children can be explained by providing my first blogging word picture: the five-gallon jug!

Most people have seen those big blue water cooler jugs — either at the office or at the water-filling stations in the front of the local supermarket. I see a connection between these water jugs and the way that adults can invest in the lives of children, who start out so empty and dependent. Adults are like a full five-gallon jug, full of resources such as time management, emotional stability, physical energy, spiritual connection, financial potential and ethics. Then, as they invest, or “pour,” into children, adults act as a resource to fill children with the capacity to reach adulthood as five-gallon jugs of happy, safe and healthy citizens in the community.

My blog posts in the near future will elaborate on this metaphor to explore it from various perspectives, all in hopes of equipping adults to better invest in the lives of children. Some examples I have planned involve enhancing the “pour.” Some have to do with clarifying what it is that we are pouring. I prefer to think in “can do” ways, so we can even approach the uncomfortable perspectives of the jug from an encouraging point of view. (By the way, the “can do” is a hint that there is a related metaphor in the wings — the traffic light of words!)

In the meantime, explore one of those five-gallon jugs. Take a look. Reflect. I invite you to check back to see what discoveries may emerge in this metaphor. Our word picture has some explaining to do…


About the author

Dr. Kimberly Fielding is Director of the Will’s Place Community Outreach Program.


Related blog posts

September 19, 2014 Concluding the Five-Gallon Jug Metaphor
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July 31, 2014 The Five-Gallon Jug and Emotional Stability
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July 17, 2014 The Five-Gallon Jug and Time Management
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May 19, 2014 Coping With the Anniversary of a Traumatic Event
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