Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Art of eating M&Ms


W
hen you rip open a bag of M&Ms, how do you eat 'em? Pop one at a time, rapid-fire? Pour the contents into your waiting maw? Or do you slide a single one into your mouth, suck on it for awhile, then finally swallow and consider, possibly, having another?

The way you answer that question could have remarkable ramifications for how you approach life in general. Are you the type of person who consumes new experiences at a phenomenal rate? Do you let everything go by in a rush as you focus on something else? Or, perhaps, do you savor each experience one at a time?

Interestingly, conventional wisdom might be right for once. Savoring one experience at a time lets you take in more, and more importantly, understand more. I once met a maharaja who visited my cultural anthropology class in New Zealand. He insisted that it would take many years to learn what he was about to try and teach us in an hour. Being young and inexperienced, after the lesson was over I privately scoffed at the seeming simplicity and easiness of the concepts. How could it possibly take years to learn this?

Now, eight years later, I understand.

Some things, like the meditative world view the maharaja tried to teach us, are intellectually very easy to disassemble...but very difficult to actually ingrain into your being. Learning and understanding are two very different, though interrelated, concepts. In order to fully understand a lot of the seemingly simple productivity and personal growth concepts floating around the Net right now, you must experience them over an extended period of time instead of merely seeing them, analyzing them, and casting them aside.

So the next time you open up a bag of those candy-coated chocolates, try savoring them one at a time. You might be surprised at how much more you enjoy them.

4 comments:

Matt @ Corporate Hack said...

Nice, I like the segue... I've pretty much been addicted to M&M's since age 4, so I take this topic very seriously. Personally, I eat each candy individually, crack the shell open in my mouth, and let the chocolate melt... but like I said I'm addicted.

But I understand where you're going. We live in a fast paced world... it's hard to slow it down, but when we do it makes life a little easier to understand.

Ben Overmyer said...

Aye, slowing it down if only for a moment makes it all seem more worthwhile.

Addictions can be dangerous...though a chocolate addiction isn't nearly as bad as some!

zakstar said...

Though not a huge M&M fan, when I do dabble, I enjoy them one color a time. The orange ones, then the blue ones, the red ones. . . Arguably, I'm the same about life. I'm super passionate about certain pursuits for a few years, and then it's time to move on to new ones

Sassy8722 said...

I do not eat them any certain way, but I am most definitely addicted to them, I cannot eat a meal without a bag of M&M's after and I hate sharing, though my 1.5 year old daughter always gets some. Good for me, bad for her. I don't see myself giving them up any time soon, and freak out when I realize I only have a couple of bags left. I hope they aren't too bad for you... I am not overweight at all (110 lbs is what I weigh lol) but I do sometimes worry about my health.