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One potato, Two potato

Yesterday I was sifting through a bag of little red potatoes, picking out the ones that weren't soft.

For some reason I just thought the soft ones weren't good any more. I honestly don't know where I learned that.

In any case, I sifted, and at the end of my bad potato-be-gone escapade, I had about a dozen "good" ones and a big pile of "bads" that I threw in the trash.

I stared at the trash, the little soft ones forming a potato layer of insulation for the garbage below it.

And I had a blast of thought - about my grandfather, and him and his family being so poor and only having potatoes to eat. And then it popped into my head, a potato famine that impacted the Irish so horribly.

I wondered if, like me, they all thought the soft potatoes weren't good to eat?

I think their parameters and circumstances were completely and utterly different. I also can't assume that they didn't have their own experience of privilege (like mine of trashing soft potatoes) alongside their suffering. Although my instincts are saying that the privilege they experienced was more along the lines of gratitude for living to see the next sunrise.

I didn't take the soft potatoes out of the garbage, despite these reflections. I didn't want the experiences of others to guilt me into trusting what my instincts felt were right. I mean, what if the soft potatoes were going bad and could make me sick?

But I was highly aware - that I was the blood of those before me, those who had experienced hardship and tragedy. I have hands formed from generations of DNA. I'm also aware that I can feel the hardships of others who I'm not related to by blood.

We can relate to most anyone, can't we? Just paying attention can open those gates up.

Yet relating to others doesn't necessarily mean we need to change our own identity, thoughts, behaviors. I have my own hardships; there were times in my 20's when I only had a handful of change to get me through the week. Where is that line we draw, the one that compels us to judge others' experiences as worse than ours? Can we give selflessly but not judge? Truth be told, I can never really know how someone is experiencing their own experience - I think I know, but only based on what I believe is the threshold of good and bad, based on MY own experience.

A whole host of ponderings, all over a bunch of spuds.


Well, maybe the little guys had some inspirational tidbits to psychically share with me today.  Maybe they know more than we think, see things we don't. They do have eyes after all.


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