I’ve always imagined the color gray would taste like Earl Grey. The color is something I associate with long windy days, comfy oversized blankets, sturdy books, neat notes, tall stone walls, and apparently a fruity tea! In fact, Earl Grey gets its distinctive taste from a fruit called bergamot, which is typically grown in southern Italy. The rind of the fruit is used to become the tea we all know and love. The thing is, however, is that Earl Grey doesn’t taste like our usual notions of fruit. It just doesn’t, until you know its source.
I share this personal revelation because I did what we all tend to do: not think. I can’t tell you what I thought Earl Grey got its flavour from, I certainly considered it a few times. However, it was one of those things you grow up with and don’t question. It’s sort of in the same category as how food you eat over the sink doesn’t count calorically, or how we don’t question the phrase “stealing your thunder”. (For those who care, **)
A lot of times, we can assume things and it turns out to be hurtful. Even if it wasn’t meant maliciously, not thinking about our words can put us at odds with others. The thing is, it’s always going to happen. We will always assume. We’re built that way. However, each day we are given a choice to question our assumptions. We don’t have to question everything, I’m sure people will turn out just fine knowing Earl Grey is from a fruit, but we should question some things. When we deconstruct our beliefs, we can understand the foundation of them, and build it back up stronger than before.
So ask questions! Even the silly ones. Think about who you are. Each day, each choice is a gift. Let’s not be discouraged by what we don’t know or understand. Everyone is confused from time to time. Everyone makes mistakes. Let’s not let it end there!