Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“I must have been an annoying child.” - Chmamanda Ngozi Adiche

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
27 June
Little Johnny Stories II:
We only learn by making mistakes. Somewhere along the line little Johnny at 14 months bit into a strawberry. He found that it’s soft, and a little seedy, and has a subtle sweetness that he will eventually come to know as very distinctive. Then he happens on a rubber ball that’s the same color, and almost the same size, as a large strawberry. And since he’s teething he’s got a vested interest in biting down on everything in sight, so he goes to work on this thing with the vague notion that it will taste like a strawberry because it looks like a strawberry.
But it isn’t a strawberry. True, it “gives” when he bites down on it, but in just a little while he discovers that the flavor’s different. And when he chews the thing for long enough he ends up biting off some of the rubber. That’s when he finds out that it doesn’t taste anything like the strawberry. But then neither do all the cat- and dog-hairs the ball continuously picks up on the floor once the ball gets wet. In short, he will figure out the hard way that a red ball that looks like a strawberry is NOT a strawberry.
Hey, kid, welcome to the College of Hard Knocks. Stay at it long enough, take enough of the necessary courses, and eventually you’ll graduate, just like the rest of us – maybe even graduate with honors!

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