When you put a bowl of blueberries in front of a 2-year-old, in about 5 minutes you can probably guess what their face looks like. So when I said, “Hey, Blueberry Face” to my granddaughter, Zoe, as she happily fisted blueberries into her mouth, I thought of course she would know what I was talking about because how can you not feel a full beard of blueberries? But she looked at me with a completely straight face and said, “What do you mean blueberry face?”
It was a good question. No assumptions there. No instant conclusions. Just a straight-forward gathering of information for clarification purposes, a step so easy to skip over as our brains get good at gathering impressive amounts of knowledge and the fancy ability to think in abstractions and projections.
I ran into trouble with this fancy brainwork myself just the other day when I thought I knew everything there was to know about a sentence in an email someone sent me. If I had asked, “Here’s what I read. Is that what you meant?” that conversation sure would have gone a different way from the get go! But, quick as a flash, my super powerful adult brain kicked in, running the email through the automatic, “Is this for me or against me?” sorting machine. If I’d read that email with a beginner’s mind instead of a sorting machine, I would have been as happy as a two-year-old with a bowl of blueberries because when I found out what this person really meant, it wasn’t what I thought at all.
So have a curious day! And Zoe says, hi…
“Blueberry Face” was published originally in Wellness Wednesday, a program component of the employee wellness program I run.