During my years as a technical project manager 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 waiter 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 food. 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 belief systems 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 favorite food or, after tasting it, decide we don't like it and move on to something else.
Copyright ©2010 by Jennifer Hoffman and Enlightening Life OmniMedia, Inc. This material is protected by US and international copyright now and may be distributed freely in its entirety as long as the author’s name and website, www.urielheals.com are included.