During my years as a I worked with a
colleague who was intelligent, highly skilled and professional. We often
traveled together and have dinner after a long day at a customer site.
One night we ordered the same thing for dinner and when our plates
arrived, they contained several small, round purple vegetables. The
said they were purple potatoes, which neither of us had ever
eaten before. I tried them first and, despite their unusual color,
decided they were good, so I ate them. My colleague, on the other hand,
refused to eat hers.

Not only would she not eat them, she removed
them from her plate so they would not touch her other . When I
asked her why she would not eat them, she said "In my world, potatoes
are white." She could not make herself eat a purple potato and refused
to take a single bite. I wondered what else in her life she would not
try because it was so different from what she was familiar with that she
would not take a step in that direction.

At a time when we are
asked to make enormous changes in the way we look at ourselves and the
world around us, we are often faced with "purple potatoes," things that
look so different from what we know that we cannot find anything in our
experience or to relate them to. So we have a choice to
refuse to try them or give them a chance and allow ourselves the
opportunity of that experience. How many times do we deny ourselves the
chance to try something new because we can’t connect to it in a way that
makes us feel safe and in control?

Whenever I think of my
colleague I remember her reaction to those purple potatoes and how I
felt that she limited herself by not being willing to try something that
was out of her comfort zone. Even after I ate mine and told her they
were good, she still wasn’t convinced that she should try them. We are
going to be challenged to step beyond what we know and accept new ways
of looking at the world. Are we willing to try? We have to remember that
we are supported and guided in all we do and a new path or direction
will require our willingness to take the first bite and decide whether
the "purple potato" will become our new or, after tasting
it, decide we don’t like it and move on to something else.

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