Do you ever question your own decisions? Are there right reasons behind them? Sometimes things just happen without any specific reason, but sometimes there could be something twisted hidden beneath it all. It could be time to ask ‘why’. So let me tell you a story.
Don’t cut the turkey
There was a couple, a man and a wife. It was Thanksgiving. And like every year, they were about to celebrate it with a stuffed turkey. Together they worked in the kitchen. The man prepared the turkey while the wife made the stuffing. As they had done every year before this one. Man finished the turkey by inserting the stuffing.
Then the wife took a huge knife, cut a piece as thick as a man's arm from the top of the turkey, and put the dish in the oven. Every year the man had wondered about that. It made no sense to him. Why would the wife cut away the best part of the turkey. But being courteous as he was, had never asked about it. But he could not stand it any longer.
- "Why do you have to always do that?!" he asked annoyed.
- "Do what?"
- "Cut away the top of the turkey! That is the best part!"
- "But..." wife tried to answer not knowing what to say. "But... that's how a turkey is done!"
- "No it isn't!" man continued. "WHY would you even think that!"
After having calmed a bit, they started to really think about the issue. The man asked the wife why she thought cutting away the top of the turkey was 'the way to do it'. She thought about it, but could only remember her mother doing it that way when she was a little girl. It was always done like that. To get to the bottom of the issue, they decided to call her mother.
It took a while to explain the situation to the wife's mother. She could also only say that 'that was the way a turkey was supposed to be made'. And that she could only remember her mother doing it like that. Luckily, grandma was still alive so they called her next.
- "Grandma, what is the point of cutting away the top of the turkey when making thanksgiving dinner?" they asked her.
- "When I was a little girl, we had such a small oven, that it was the only way a whole turkey could fit in there." grandma answered.
Feel free to switch Thanksgiving to Christmas or Monday, and switch turkey to ham or roast – it’s not about the details.
Doing things for the right reasons
We don’t always know why we act specific ways. Or why we do the things we do. It’s part of growing up in a society. Some things we just learn to take for granted while the same things could be considered strange in some other countries. But giving away our own rational thinking and living ‘the way we are supposed to live’ is just sad.
That way we give away part of who we are. We give away part of our freedom. The point is to keep your eyes open. To once in awhile to ask yourself “Why?”. It’s not a bad word. It doesn’t imply fault as so often is thought. It implies the freedom of thought. The freedom to ask ourselves why we do the things the way we do.
And it’s also not about doing the right thing. It’s about doing the thing, for the right reasons. And those reasons are defined by us. Not our parents, not our grandparents, but by us.
Let’s live the way we want to live and not the way we assume we are supposed to live. Let’s cut the top of the turkey only if we want to cut it.