Mug vs. Heart
College Students were put through a blind test to discover how long it would take for them to bond with an object.
The Students were allowed to hold a coffee mug for 30 seconds or a full minute and some were not allowed to touch anything at a staged auction. They were then told to bid on the item up to a certain amount at an auction.
Students who held the mug for 30 seconds always bid right up to the stated allotment to get that mug.
Students who held the mug for a full minute universally went over the stated allotment in order to own that mug. Once touched, the mug became something they had an investment in maintaining, even though the mug was worth less than a dollar and even when it was explained to them that the other bidders were participants in the test – the students still wanted the mug. They were willing to go into debt to get that mug.
I am pausing here to tell you the story of my friend Rachel Corrie.
I met Rachel when she was 3 years old and was starting at the same pre-school play group as my oldest daughter. Rachel was the youngest in her family of three children and she was a petite, happy, little girl.
Her loving spirit always embraced you and her exuberance for life and activity could not be missed.
Rachel and my daughter went all the way through the school system together, did birthday parties, camp, soccer, and loved art projects. Rachel loved to talk and write and my kiddo was a great listener.
In college, Rachel went to Palestine to learn about Peace and Conflict. She sat down and ate at the Pharmacist’s table and enjoyed the company of his wife and children. Days later in her bright yellow vest she saw a Military equipped bulldozer getting ready to level the Pharmacist’s house, with his family sleeping inside.
Rachel ran up to the soldier and talked to him. He got into the bulldozer any way. She ran in front of the machine and ran up the scoop and looked the operator in the eye and the scoop flipped her down and the bulldozer ran over her and she was gone.
World leaders called and spoke to her parents and millions of dollars poured in as consolation and which has now become a Community Center in Palestine and a Foundation.
An International play and a book have been put together from her journals and her parents work and work for Peace.
The Pharmacist and his family are safe and well.
Rachel held a man and his family in her heart and shared their food and home. She held this family in her heart.
It matters not to me whether her actions were right or wrong or powerful or simpleminded.
What I know from all my studies and reading and living of life, is that Wars and Conflict seem to always start over something as mundane as a MUG that we have held onto for more than a minute and will go into debt to obtain it.
Many parents tell their children not to touch anything when they go into a store. Maybe they say that about other people too?
How do we share with our children our values? How do we talk about war and conflict?
How do we teach peace?
How do you sort out what is valuable to you? What is your MUG and what is your HEART Value?
Are you sure?
Jeremy Day at Insight Writer is doing a group writing project on Values
Book Review:Moyers on Democracy
Book Review: Hats Off to Two Wonderful World Changing Men and the Books About Them