The morning after the farmers market I grabbed my new bread and eggs so that I could use them to make some fabulous french toast.
Yeah, I know... the picture isn't the greatest. That's ok, though, because what I really want you to notice is the eggs in the green bowl - the side of the photo that won't blind you.
Notice that all three eggs are different. They're different sizes and different colors.
And check out that green one! It isn't a trick of the light. That egg is really, truly green. How awesome is that?!
The vendor that sold me the eggs has many different breeds of chickens running around her land. Different types of chicken produce eggs of different colors. This is something I didn't know until recently. I was one of those people that thought organic and cage free chickens lay brown eggs, while chickens crowded into tiny spaces, unable to move, produced white eggs.
Yeah, I know. I should've known better... but I had never seen anything to make me question my belief. The worst part of that? Not questioning the reason for your beliefs is at the root of all discrimination. This made me feel even worse about my lack of knowledge.
I realize that this seems far-fetched. How can I possibly link a misunderstanding about chicken eggs with discrimination? That's just crazy!!!
But is it?
Think about discrimination in society. In most cases, with the exception of the hardcore crazies that just want to have someone to look down on ( ::cough cough:: Westboro Baptist Church ::cough cough:: ), people discriminate against others simply because they don't know any better. They're not trying to be idiots, they've just spent so much time not associating with the group they hate that they haven't had the opportunity to understand why they're wrong.
Sure, they've heard the countless reasons why what they're feeling is discrimination, but being given a reason for something, and actually seeing that reason for yourself are two totally separate things.
You can talk to me about the physics involved in jet propulsion all day long. That doesn't mean I'll understand it. I'll try to piece your explanation together in a way that makes sense to me, but I may leave stuff out. I may bridge my gaps with false reasoning. I wouldn't do it to spite you. I'd do it because I was given too much information without being given the tools to understand it.
That brings me back to my green egg. I mentioned my thoughts regarding brown and white eggs, but suddenly, here's this green egg that's come along and totally messed up all of my longstanding beliefs about chickens.
If something doesn't play into your strongly formed assumptions, then something else must be at work here. There's something you missed when your assumption was originally formed. So what should you, or anyone for that matter, do?
Go back to step one. Re-examine what's in front of you, and ask yourself where the mistake was made. It's ok to make a mistake. We all do that. What's not ok, however, is to hold firm to your misconception after being presented with evidence to the contrary, simply because it's easier.
I never knew that a green egg had the ability inspire philosophical theories. That's kinda cool!
What's the green egg in your life?