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Isn’t it interesting how our perspective on events can sometimes shift from dramatic to humorous? Something that looks charged one day might appear silly or funny the next. Read on for a little anecdote that illustrates this.
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All of us at Insight Principles
From Drama to Comedy?
A few years ago, my workgroup went away to a small island for an offsite. We planned to cook a few dinners in teams, and I was in charge of shopping for a famous chicken recipe with a list dictated to me on the phone by a colleague who was cooking the meal.
I hate cooking but wanted to help, so I happily volunteered to buy the supplies. I bought everything on the list, put the groceries in my car, and drove to the offsite.
When I handed the chicken to my colleague, she immediately frowned. “You bought some boneless pieces, some skinless pieces, and some regular chicken parts. I wanted only chicken parts with bones and skin! And then, with more intensity, “This isn’t what I asked for at all!”
Then I unbagged the olive oil.
“Light olive oil?! I didn’t ask for light olive oil! I can’t cook this chicken with light olive oil! Plus, the chicken parts all cook at different times and temperatures! I can’t cook them together! This dish is ruined!”
My colleague was mad. As mad as I’d ever seen her. Really mad. Really, really mad. To her, it genuinely seemed like a catastrophe. She was responsible for feeding 15 people that night. And I’d messed it up.
Somewhat bemused, and, not being culinary, not really understanding the mistake I’d made, I apologized, smiled inwardly, and kept a wide berth while my friend fumed. It took a while, but she eventually realized she could still make the dish and, despite that shameful light olive oil, the meal was delicious.
I was reminded of this story only a few days ago when this same friend and I were recalling the Chicken Catastrophe and laughing. What changed? Why did same situation look so humorous to us now?
They say that drama plus time equals humor. But is time the change agent? Not really. Our thinking often naturally shifts, allowing us to see the humor and humanity in things that once looked dramatic and emotional. My friend’s thinking about the Chicken Catastrophe changed on its own. My screw-up and her reaction started looking funny. She didn’t do anything to change her thinking. It just shifted from looking like a disaster (which it was) to looking like comedy (which it was).
This can happen at any time, with any situation. We’d venture to guess that you’ve had a similar experience, and we bet the stuff in your life that looks dramatic right now will look different after your thinking shifts. Eventually, you might even find yourself laughing about it.
Remembering that thinking changes all the time allows us to find and keep our perspective.
I’ll tell you one thing, though. I’ll never buy the wrong chicken parts again.
©Insight Principles, Inc.