Friday, February 14, 2014
By Beckie Carlson
I've been thinking about something for a while now. It has been tickling the back of my mind for days. It is one of those thoughts that will gel and melt and gel and melt.....hard to hold on to for more than a moment at a time.
Brad read a book one, I think, about this topic. I used to only read brain candy in my previous life. I would see a 'self-help' or 'relevant' book and be intrigued, but not enough to actually read it. I would buy the book and give it to Brad to read. It was great. He hated brain candy, and I was too lazy to read real books so, we would share. After he would read the book he would tell me what it said in a nutshell. It was a perfect situation. Well, except for the fact that he was a painfully slow reader. This might be why he remembered much more of what he read than I do, but that is another topic.
The book I'm thinking about was called the E Factor or something like that. I really don't remember. The point of the book, from what Brad said, was that we as humans tend to 'fill in the gaps.' Whenever we meet a new person or situation, our amazing minds fill in all the details we don't know with stuff we assume so we can deal with the new thing or person. It is really interesting, and very true. Think about it. Whenever you meet someone, no matter how hard you try, your mind creates a story to go with that person. If you meet someone with tattoos and piercings, your mind may decide that person is a bit wild, lives on the edge, drinks tequila from the bottle, and lives in a trailer. Maybe. When you meet someone that has perfect skin, a tiny waist, manicured nails and a coach bag you may suddenly create the story that this person is wealthy, lives in a spotless house with her rich husband, dotes on a yappy dog, and sleeps with her therapist. Maybe.
Sometimes, we are right and most times we are dead wrong. This very topic has come up in class a few times lately during reading. Our reading curriculum is kind of cool because it encourages the kids to form their own ideas about what they read. It is different from what I read as a child. There were only right and wrong answers when I was in 5th grade. Kids today are encouraged to use their brain for more than just filling in the missing word, we actually want them to think. Its pretty cool actually. One of our stories was a bout a boy that came to school with dirty clothes and a lazy attitude and was thought of as a thief by most people, simply because of how he dressed and where he hung out. It was pretty amazing to hear the students opinion of this boy change as they learned more about him from the story.
Too many times we use our amazing brain to fill in details that are completely wrong and unfair. How do we stop it? Is it possible to think the best of everyone right off the bat? Sometimes I really wish I could find a place that sold authentic rose colored glasses. I would buy a case and give them to everyone I know, including myself. What kind of a world would it be if everyone assumed everyone else was a great person? What if we could wait to fill in the blanks in another person's story until we actually got to know them? I think it would be pretty amazing.
Take me for example....instead of just looking at me and assuming I really am WonderWoman, take a minute to get to know me and you just might find that I am a normal person, just like you,.....except maybe just a tad more crazy.....cause I said so.
Photo credit: www.dailyphoto.co.uk