When my kids come home from college, they seem to have an exaggerated lust for eggs, whether it’s eggs for breakfast at 3 p.m., or omelets at 3 a.m. (which, I assure you, I am not involved in making). I try with regularity to foist granola or oatmeal upon them, but the call for eggs is deafening. Thus, when I looked into my egg carton the other night, and noticed that there was only ONE egg left, I made a mental note to get to the store the first thing the next morning, before anyone might arise looking for--you guessed it—eggs.
This feat I easily accomplished, returning home before noon with fresh, brown organic eggs, and several other bags of food. So when my youngest son emerged from his bedroom, seeking scrambled eggs at 2 p.m., I was ready. I opened up the container where my one remaining egg was nestled, intending to add it to my newly acquired batch, and found…to my utter amazement…not one egg but three! Three perfect eggs ready for his “morning” repast.
A Christmas miracle? Perhaps. But far more likely, when I originally looked into that egg carton, my fear that there would not be enough eggs for breakfast was so great that it clouded my vision. Though three eggs were in the carton I only SAW one egg, went to bed thinking of one egg, and got up the next morning thinking of one egg. I completely convinced myself of something that was utterly not true.
The next evening, in a conversation with a friend, I learned of an entire family drama that had been constructed around the simple misunderstanding of a word. Let’s just say the word was harlot (which it was not). But if it were, let’s just say that numerous people were insulted by its use, and constructed all kinds of negative scenarios and outcomes, and argued and bantered about the misguided individual who had used the word, until it was finally discovered days later that the word harlot was never even used at all.
The mind is a curious thing. But even more curious than the mind itself, is the way in which we allow it to race off into all kinds of crazy directions, without really thinking, and that we actually permit and sometimes even encourage our minds to make things up that are completely false (i.e. missing eggs), create unpleasant scenarios that will never happen (i.e. angry college students screaming for eggs), or to cause needless suffering (i.e. actually he did not call her a harlot—he used the word harpoon in a totally unrelated context).
It simply boggles the mind!