February 26, 2011


When I have a brain fart (those times when I can’t think of something to write), I turn to plinky.com.

By the way, I’d like to take this moment to thank my father for this term – brain fart! I know it sounds rude and disgusting, but there is just no other word that describes these moments. A time when you can’t think of something to say.

Anywho, today’s question is: “If you could read minds for a day, would you?”

You damn straight!

Anyone in their right mind, in my opinion, should jump at the opportunity… or should we??

Since my first impulse is to say yes, then I should give my reasons.

We all have many people in our lives. Some are closer to us than others. In a television program a few years ago, it was stated that we would interact with over 1000 people in our lives – that is, the average person. Of course, depending on your life, that number could be more or less.

For the average person though, knowing that you will interact with over 1000 people in your life seems a bit outrageous.

Think about it. You say hi to your classmates. You talk to your fellow workers. You have friends and neighbours you’ve met throughout your life. Then, there’s the more obscure people in your life: the gas attendant, the kid at McDonalds, the mailman… Once you think about all those people, whether you socialize with them or not, whether you’ve only said “Hello” once in a while, or go on holidays together, 1000 people people begins to seem a bit low.

Now think… think about all those years in school, on holidays, in a bar, dealing with fellow employees, talking to that idiot at McDonalds… wouldn’t it be great, if even for one day, to know what people are thinking while you are interacting with them?

The last episode or perhaps the second last episode of Golden Girls was a scene where Dorothy had finally met the man of her dreams and was getting married. As she’s walking down the aisle with her mother, Sophia, she is thinking about the people around and we hear her thoughts. At one point, she talks about her new husband, and says something like, “… I think you can hear what I’m thinking…” Then the camera is on Dorothy’s husband-to-be (Leslie Nielson), and he responds with something like, “… yes, Dorothy, I can hear what you are thinking…”

As much as I would love to know at times, what others think about me, it may be a bit difficult. I have to remember that I am in Taiwan. The chances that whatever someone is thinking, they are thinking in English, is a bit unrealistic. So, having this ability here in Taiwan, would be a waste of time!

How many times over our lives, have we met someone for the first time. We always form opinions of that person based on first impressions. What if that person was able to read what our thoughts were? Would we end up continuing that meeting? Would we ever see that person again?

How about all the times that we put on our ‘good face’ for someone we really don’t like, just to appease someone else. How many times have we smiled, and secretly thought, “What an idiot!” How many times have we thought, “OMG, I’d like to [insert any word you like here]!” for someone we found desirable?

What if each of these people could read our thoughts? What if we could read theirs? Are they saying the same about us? How would we react? How would we deal with the rejection or attraction? How would the relationship we have be after knowing the honest feelings these people have for us?

The other thing that comes to mind when thinking about this topic, is this… if we could read minds or thoughts, how do you sort out all the extraneous information that would enter our brains? Remembering that at most times, we are around more than one person. For instance, myself, I am in a classroom with another teacher and 10+ students. I might want to know what the teacher may think about me, but I would have all the students’ thoughts roaming around at the same time – language not being considered here.

When we are in a bar or a party, trying to have a conversation with someone, while all around us, there are others who are also talking and thinking. I find it difficult enough just trying to have a verbal conversation, let alone trying to read all those thoughts of the people around me.

Okay, so back to the original question… would I use this ability?

After a bit of consideration, and arguing both sides, I suppose I would not. It is much better at times, NOT knowing what people actually think about you, or in my case, about me. Perhaps if I was born with this ability and lived with it all my life, that would be different.

Having this ability for just one day, hmmm… NO! Having this ability from this day on? Again, I would have to say NO.

I have a great rapport with the people I work with now. I feel that I am honest enough with them, and they with me. I like to believe that as we become more mature adults, we realize that all those petty remarks or childish opinions, are just that.

I would rather people tell me honestly what they think about me, about my work, about my personality. In this way, we become better friends and better people in general.

My personal feelings about someone are just that – PERSONAL. I would not enjoy the idea of anyone being able read my thoughts, so, it is only fair, that I should respect their thoughts.

When they grow up and become adults and realize that life is short enough, telling me their honest feelings, if they so desire to tell me, is much better than reading their personal thoughts!

That’s it, that’s all… for now.

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