It's Friday night, and so my daughters and I went out to dinner at our favorite local Italian non-chain dining establishment. We're just sitting there, enjoying our salads, well those of us who were having salads, and just chatting . . . and somehow Daughter 1 is describing someone with no teeth, or who has questionable orthodontics . . . let's be straight here -- the person being described is lacking some key teeth and rather noticeably. Daughter 3, out of the blue, says, "You don't need teeth to eat applesauce." Rather droll, matter-of-fact, actually quite serious. There I was, engaged in serious salad mid-chew, thinking that was the funniest thing I had heard all day . . . "You don't need teeth to eat applesauce." And now, the more I think about that casual, off-hand remark, the more I truly believe it can be applied to life. Think of all the things we tend to overdo, over-plan, over think that really just need quiet meditation, or introspection, or just a few moments of reflection before we start . . . chewing . . . masticating . . . sinking our mental teeth into something that just needs to be . . . taken in slowly, savored, mulled over lightly, with little thought or question. Too often we jump the gun, taking offense where none is intended, assigning blame where there is no wrongdoing, casting aspersions on those who are just trying to be the best they can be given a finite set of circumstances and experiences. Much like using teeth to eat applesauce . . . more work, and thought, and emotion than is really necessary.
So the next time something is said, or written, especially in a casual exchange, that leaves you feeling a little . . . sideways -- stop -- and before you fire off a regrettable verbal round or volley, think to yourself, "Do I really need teeth to eat applesauce?"