🌏Lessons from mayonnaise 🥗
Entry #65 on the way we lose control over the things that are out of our reach
I’ve been thinking about this for months.
Sometime back in the summer, I dropped the squeezy bottle of mayonnaise on the hardwood floor. The shock from impact sent a dose of kinetic energy through the bottle, its only available outlet being the rubber teat where the mayonnaise comes out. Imagine a creamy spray, in slow motion.
The bottle bounced and landed and it was one of those moments when you just pause to stand there, dumbfounded.
I hate cleaning at the best of times, maybe the size of the mess made me freeze. Maybe the interruption to my lunch was just so unforeseen that I did not know what to do next. This was a whole new scene to take in.
Big dollops of mayonnaise had landed closest to the bottle’s resting place. In a pattern that almost demanded my admiration, the narrow fan of mayonnaise droplets stretched a considerable distance away from the source, in elongated tails. The furthest limits of this mayonnaise masterpiece had shrunk to tiny dots again, already drying to gel-like yellow in that gross way mayonnaise has about it.
Here’s the closest internet image I can find for you.
Photo by Laker : https://www.pexels.com/photo/blob-of-red-liquid-with-drop-6157097/
What did I do about the mayonnaise?
After I begrudgingly cleaned it all up (and then cleaned again, further away because I had underestimated aforementioned kinetic energy) I saw that physics really does teach us so much.
If dollops of spilt mayonnaise are related to the locus of control theory, we really do have the most when it’s close to us. If it’s right there in front of us, we can usually exercise the most agency and control. If it’s a distant dot, we’re in a position of much lower leverage.
And that simple reminder contains multitudes of wisdom.
“Major the majors, minor the minors”, as one wise friend puts it.
Clean up the biggest dollops and try to get as many of the little ones, but don’t bust a nut over it. That’s what I took from this mayonnaise episode.
As always, I look forward to hearing what you heard, saw and felt when reading this.
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