Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Dark or white chocolate, or ... maybe none?
Early in the afternoon, nice breeze through a window, two big mugs of freshly steeped tea. After a pause in front of the fridge, I pick one "Kit Kat-dark" to accompany with my tea. Offering it to Mr Alchemist, he tries one stick, and he hates it! I love it, and we break into a discussion about why we feel so differently about the same thing. He thinks that this dark version of Kit Kat, or any dark chocolate for that matter, is not sweet enough as a chocolate is supposed to be, in fact it leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth after one eats it. He says that’s the main reason why he dislikes dark chocolate. I love dark Kit Kat, or any dark chocolate for that matter, exactly for the same reason.
I’m talking over the phone with my father. It’s more of a discussion rather than a chat. We are discussing over a family-relations subject. Somebody has told a lie and expects everyone not only to accept it, but not to investigate it anymore. He believes it’s just some type of a game, which shouldn’t distract him from his more important issues in his life. I believe although there are important issues in his life, but so many of his obstacles originate from this childish game, which he should notice and care about.
I have two friends, both with kids. They have both been treated the same when they were kids themselves, meaning they were both being punished physically for their bad behaviors. Now after becoming adults and having kids of their own, for the same concept, they have concluded two different conclusions. One of them punishes her kids physically ("It was the same for me, and I turned out to be fine. I know it was for my own good back then, and now this is for the kids' own good."). The other one doesn’t even touch them when she is angry, worried that her touch may not have the same "gentleness" as her regular hug and care.
You can find thousand and thousands of these examples in your everyday life. From the smallest issues like selecting the pistachio over vanilla ice cream, to the bigger concepts of politics, ideology, or society. This could be seen as different perceptions (Hello my friend MH!). But my point is, who can decide what is good and what is bad for a whole bunch of people? If the results for me is totally different from my father's, my brother's, or my friend's, who can say that having 12000 calories per day will have the same effect on our bodies as it has for Michael Phelps? Who can guaranty that walking up and down the stairs for 30 minutes straight which is good for my chubby friend, does the same for me, and won’t hurt my knees? Who can say that this ideology or that social concept works for all the people? And more practically, aren’t we observing the result? Which nation is totally/totally happy and successful? I’m not talking about the surveys based on one person or a group of people’s perception on happiness and the conclusions, I’m talking reality. What makes the Danishes the happiest nation in the world, may not work for the people of Zimbabwe.
Maybe if we observe more, an unbiased observation without any prejudice, then coming to a pattern and then deciding upon that pattern helps us much more than deciding upon one person’s belief, or a group’s ideology, or a nation’s way of living. Maybe then we can come to some general rules to be happy and live happily, or maybe not. But at least we may come to the conclusion that we accept our differences and live by each other, without the urge to convince the other one to accept our beliefs.
Maybe the world turns out to be a better place after all…
Posted by Nava at 9:11 AM