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


Mommy Homeopath: said...

My friend Nava,
I am laughing so loud now....yesterday afternoon my better half and I had very similar conversation about "Kit Kat bar- dark"!!!!
Do you want me to put more options in your little dilemma? I LOVE LOVE LOVE DARK and even extra dark chocolate and at the same time "Kit Kat- regular" is one of my favorite. So better half got me some "Kit Kat dark" and for me it tastes AWAFUL! Capital letter all through and through….
So he was teasing me that it must be the pregnancy hormones and all, because I love dark chocolate and I love Kit Kat ... therefore 2+2 is 4...and I was teasing him back that WOW such an "Engineer PERCEPTION" toward life...and in life 2+2 is NOT normally 4...sometimes it is NOTHING and sometimes it is infinity....
Talk about perception my dear…I am telling you it is always about perception:):):)

I enjoyed your very rich philosophical post. Most of the time what I am afraid of is to loose individuality in life – after all look at the profession that I chose in life, the celebration of individuality in the core!
I think giving one prescription in general, for medicine or for life, does not work….it does not work either for short or long term…

Be happy my dear!

Behi said...

I remember being in chitchats that people got excited and satisfied when they were talking about their similarities and sometimes those conversations turned to some kind of competitions, like in their similarities one was trying to talk about her similar but different experience. Like "If your mother is such an emotional person, mine is Goddess of emotions and I'm telling that to you not directly but by this very different story from one you just told us" First, they would go for their same positive or negative experiences and then it was time to prove which one is having "a better version" of that very same feeling if you know what I mean.
If we could just accept who we are and then it would be more doable to accept others with whatever they are. And by the way I love dark chocolate "as well" ;) and recently found a new brand which is just perfect :).

Anonymous said...

My dear Nava;
your new post is impressive and undoubtably true. As I said before in my post "closer" no 2 persons are born totally the same in their nature. So to live peacefully together, we need to get along. To get along we need to get closer and to get closer, we gotta build bridges...
That's what my grandma used to say.
If only we had not forgotten the art of "watching things throght the others' perspective"...

Start a very nice day nava jan; and thank you for such a nice post.

Nava said...

Dear MH!
Tell me about that engineering perception toward life. I will definitely write about it at some point, as I have thought about it a lot, and all those "there is an absolute answer to everything" and "you either believe it or not" and "2+2=4"...I know them all!! :)

About you and Dark chocolate, I don't think it's necessarily the hormones. While I love dark and even extra dark chocolate very much, it's not every brand. There are brands which I cannot tolerate, and there are those which I never get tired of. (Have you tasted "nestle noir intense"? It is awsome! Really a piece of heaven here on earth!) But then I was so hooked on Kit Kat Dark that I more or less quit having regular Kit Kat! So there we go, no absolute selection even for chocolate lovers...

The rest, we are on the same boat together. I get so surprised by those who think they have the world wide description for all problems. Yet, they are out there offering their prescriptions, and getting loads of loyal customers. Hello reality!

I hope you also have a very good week my friend.

Nava said...

Hello Behi,
Well sometimes it seems that conversations turn into discussions and then into wrestling matches, to prove domination. This is one of the basic points I believe we have to learn: to listen, and not necessarily try to prove our own idea is "better". And you know what? It really isn't very easy.

I envy you with all those dutch and swiss chocolate nearby to try...Now I crave some!
Have fun with all that delicious chocolate.

PS: I read a book once "A chocolate a day, keeps doctor away"... delicious title, huh?

Nava said...

Hi Parinaz,
That's why they say love is not enough, any relationship needs work. It includes building the bridge, and maintaining it, as it really needs care.
Your grandma was a philosopher for herself, one of those simple ones who bake and cook and care for others, and no one really sees through their wise ideas, except maybe a 6 year-old smart grand kid, to re-write and share them with us after she is grown up.

I believe there should always be a balance between "watching things throght the others' perspective" and keeping one's individuality . Although I am one who was born with the concept, sometimes it just is too much . Still, we have to learn to observe and listen to each other...

You have a good week as well, and thanks for your comment.

cuckoo said...

The only way to taste good coffee, chocolate and similar things is to have them dark :)