This post isn’t the controversial one you might be thinking I’ve had brimming up inside me for the last few days. (That post is there, but I honestly doubt it’ll ever see the light of day. I’m on vacation, and I have no desire whatsoever to put up with the comment shenanigans I’d have to police if and when I posted it.) No, this post is on something much simpler.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I have a tendency to make assumptions about the world based on the limited information available to me. Often, those assumptions get along just fine. Every now and then, I’m reminded that that’s all they were all along: assumptions.
What leads me to these deep thoughts while on vacation? I went back to BYU yesterday, and things were different. Basic, unalterable truths had changed. My worldview was rocked to the very core of its foundations. What caused this mental earthquake?
I went to buy a milkshake at the Cougar Eat, and THEY DON’T SELL MILKSHAKES THERE ANY MOAR!!!1!1!!
I’m a simple man, full of simple wants and needs. High up on that list is the desire to get a good milkshake from the BYU Creamery whenever I’m in town. It’s convenient, and it’s not too expensive, and it was really hot yesterday. I spent quite some time looking forward to that milkshake, and then it was ripped from my hopes and dreams and stomped on. You could buy ice cream. Sundaes. Pastries.
But no milkshakes.
Not even at the creamery up by DT (which doesn’t exist anymore and has been replaced by actual good looking buildings as opposed to giant lego bricks with cafeteria lunch trays on every window). But I don’t care about big changes. I expect those. It’s the smaller things that I just assume would never ever change. Things like milkshakes.
I went to BYU for ten years. For all of those years, milkshakes were available in the same place. They’d always been there. There was no reason to imagine that would ever change,
And yet it did.
Obviously it wasn’t quite as upsetting as I’m making it out to be here, but I’m exaggerating to make a point. I had what I felt was sufficient experience to be able to make conclusions about how life was going to go. This isn’t the only time I’ve encountered this phenomenon. Often it happens when I see high school friends doing or saying something they “would never” do or say in my experience. (Actually, as I think about it, it seems most of my world-rocking surprises pop up around things I did or people I knew when I was younger. Time seems to last much longer when you’re younger. Two years can be an eternity. These days, I would never make an assumption about something based on two years of experience. Well, not an assumption at the most basic level. Not a milkshake assumption. But you get used to how things are growing up, and you just accept certain things as fact that in reality could change at any moment.)
The good news is that I adapted. I had a sundae instead of a milkshake. And while the sundae wasn’t quite as good as what I was wanting, it was still yummy and cool and relaxing on a hot summer day.
Where am I going with this post? I think my basic thought boils down to this: we all experience life differently. Those experiences lead us to believe that certain things are rock solid truths that will never change. This can be something as simple as a milkshake or as complex as an entire worldview. From time to time we discover the “rock” in “rock solid” is squishier than we’d like to believe. This comes back to my trenches post from a few days ago.
Never give up the right to be wrong. (I might be stealing this thought from someone’s comment on Facebook a week or two ago. I tried to see who it was, and I couldn’t find it. If it was yours, congrats! Great idea. If it was no one’s, ain’t I smart?) What I mean by that is don’t be so insistent on always being right that you ignore the fact you may be wrong. At the same time, try to avoid going around shoving other people’s faces into their own “wrong.” Because nothing feels sillier than telling people you don’t want to eat a milkshake downtown because they’ve got better milkshakes at the Cougar Eat, only to find out they don’t anymore.
There’s a good point in there somewhere, even if I’m not sure I finally connected all the dots just right. But that’s all the energy and time I’ve got for finding the point today. I’ll leave it to you to do some dot connecting on your own. Have a nice Thursday.