Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I Changed My Mind
I Changed My Mind
There comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to learn difficult lessons. Sometimes the lesson requires us, in order that we may continue growing, to do a complete 180 from the direction we were heading in, and turn around and go back the other way. Sometimes this requires letting go of a long belief that things can be one way, and one way only, to land in favor of what actually will work to start us moving forward again when we seem to be stuck or stalled out in our journey through life. One of those things that we sometimes need to do but may find it difficult because we somehow feel guilty for it, is simply changing our minds about whatever it is that we realize is impeding our progress. This story has to do with that, and the rhetorical question at the end.
[Note: this is a hypothetical story utilizing metaphor.
So, I went to the store a few days ago, and there they were giving away free samples of a new variety of coffee. Well, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a coffee aficionado, and I like most kinds of coffee, especially if it happens to be of the more or less gourmet type (which this was) – well I’m not too keen on the obviously “artificially” flavored kind like “hazelnut”, “vanilla almond”, “Irish Cream” and so on (you can keep those!! Pllleh!)
I graciously accepted my sample of coffee from the person who was handing them out, and tasted it, rolling it around in my mouth a bit before swallowing. I decided I liked it pretty well, and so purchased a bag of the beans and took it home so I could brew some there.
The first pot-full was pretty good. I enjoyed it to the last drop. The next day I brewed another pot and drank some. It wasn’t quite as tasty as the first pot or even the sample had seemed. Oh well. I decided to give it one more try – three’s a charm right? So I brewed a third pot the next day exactly as I had the first two… which was pretty much the way that I have always brewed coffee – measure the beans into the grinder, then set up the pot with the right amount of water, grind the beans just so, put them in the filter basket and away we go… Well, it smelled pretty good, so I poured a nice big cup for myself, measuring out the half and half into my cup (I WILL drink coffee black, though usually only if it has proven to be of exceptional quality to me – I rarely if EVER add sugar to my coffee; that’s like putting ketchup on a New York strip – heh, well, I’m vegetarian these days, but once upon a time I used to be a steak aficionado too).
Okay, well maybe three wasn’t a charm. You know what? That coffee really didn’t taste any better than the second pot I brewed. If anything it was even worse. It was just plain bitter AND left a nasty bitter aftertaste in my mouth. So, I put the bag of beans back in the grocery sack with my receipt and took it back to the store. The store refunded my money, no questions asked.
But here’s my question; even though I tried the sample at the store and said at the time that I liked it – in fact, as I recall I mentioned that I liked it very much, thank you, and really looked forward to a continued experience with it – does the fact that after I had tried to have that continued experience with my new variety of coffee, and then after it left a bad taste in my mouth and I decided that I didn’t like it after all, make me a hypocrite?
I’m just wondering because while I was at the store returning the coffee, I happened to be standing very near to where they were handing out samples of it again, and overheard someone refusing a sample, citing that they had tried it before and though they had liked it initially, after they took some home and brewed it there decided it was too bitter for them and changed their mind about liking it (just as I had). The person giving out the samples accused that customer of being hypocritical because the customer was now saying she didn’t like it when she had liked the sample the first time she had been given one.
My answer to my own question is: I think not. What difference should it make to someone else, even and maybe especially the one giving out the samples, if I first liked what they gave me and then when it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I change my mind about liking it? … unless it really makes a difference to them what their customers think of their product and they are willing change it so that more people enjoy it... I did not perceive any indication of that being the case in this instance however…
So what do YOU think? Am I a hypocrite for changing my mind?
Should any of us ever be made to feel guilty for changing our mind, whether it is through our own perception of what others might think if we do, or someone else’s criticism of the fact that we did?