Maybe What I Thought I Saw Was In My Mind

There were three male Mallard ducks. Just hanging out by the pond. Strange. Unusual. Three male ducks never just hang out in that neighborhood. Maybe they are up to no good.

Then I notice one duck is limping. I’ve never seen a duck limp. Obviously something is wrong. He must have tangled with something. Maybe a fish hook in the water left behind by an errant caster. Maybe a cat had big ideas.

Most likely the duck’s two friends were looking out for him.

It reminded me of the story Jesus told about the man who was an outcast from the local society stopped to help a wounded man from the majority culture.

Yesterday (link above), I wrote the same scene from one perspective–my initial reaction to three guys hanging out. Today, the same scene, except I was more observant.

I know nothing about duck culture. I am projecting human behavior on animals.

However the two views of the same scene offers another teaching moment.

At least three times in the past couple of weeks I have read news items where a white person has called the police to investigate black people who a) were in that place legally b) doing nothing wrong or even suspicious.

It was all in the mind of the caller. Their brains composed a story based upon some prejudice or past encounter or just fear of others not like themselves. They (not surprisingly) believed their brains’ stories. Panicked. Called the police for protection–from nothing.

Be honest. If you saw three strangers, what story would your brain create? Would you be emotionally intelligent enough to pause and question the thought? Make a further observation? Even offer help if needed?

We know that we believe whatever we tell ourselves to believe. Motivational speakers use that trick all the time telling you to just tell yourself that you are great–and eventually you will believe it.

Politicians use the trick all the time, as well. Repeat the same story over and over and pretty soon people will believe the biggest lie is really the truth.

Be careful what you choose to believe. It may be all in your head. And wrong.

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