The Mayo Compromise...
Yes, you read that right, I said mayo, as in mayonnaise. The condiment that people put on sandwiches in tuna and chicken salad...I could go on but I'm guessing you get the picture.
A long time ago, somewhere around the age of 10 or 12 I got sick on some rancid mayonnaise. Blah, yuck, gag. It was, to say the least, an uncomfortable experience. From that point on I said I would never eat the stuff again. Instead I mixed my tuna with Dijon mustard (kind of strange, I know, but I didn't want to eat it plain) and had my sandwiches dry.
Fast forward to 2016, I was talking to my husband about a mutual friend that had had a bad experience with a group of people in a particular line of work. Our friend had subsequently had more recent encounter with another person in the same line of work that had also gone poorly. A light bulb went on in my head. Could it be that our friends expectations, shaped by a previous real life experience, was impacting their current and future experiences? Could it be that our expectations and beliefs become reality because we think they are absolute?
Then I thought about my aversion to mayonnaise. I know it sounds like a jump, but stick with me. I truly and absolutely believed that mayonnaise was gross and that I would always get sick off of it. However, what I realized while talking about our mutual friend and their issues with people in a certain line of work, was that I hadn't had mayonnaise in over a decade so how could I really know if I'd still get sick off of it. The truth was that I got sick off of "RANCID" mayonnaise. A specific jar of rancid mayonnaise not a fresh opened jar of mayonnaise. Just like our friend had a bad experience with a specific person in a specific line of work not every person in that line of work.
How often do we let one experience shape our expectations so absolutely that it ensures that our expectations are always the outcome. How do we let ourselves become so rigid in our beliefs that we are unable to meet in the middle and attempt to understand the viewpoint of another person.
I realized through this thought process that my avid aversion to mayonnaise was basically ridiculous. That my one experience shouldn't shape my entire future. That if I work hard at being open and receptive I may in fact be delightfully surprised. And that is how I came to the Mayo Compromise.
Something as simple and silly mayonnaise has impacted my life by reminding me to remain open and conscious of how my own expectations can shape my future.
Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.