Now that this Halloween is over, it’s time for a little reflection.
First of all, why isn’t Halloween a week long celebration? I was recently in Peru during the summer solstice holiday of Inti Raymi. The Peruvians danced, sang, drank and paraded for a whole week. That is how you celebrate a holiday and make it memorable. Anyway, I digress.
This Halloween, I sat on my front porch swing and waited for trick or treaters to come to my doorstep. I placed the candy in a large bowl and set it on a table in front of me. As children came up to the house, I told them to take a couple of pieces of candy.
What happen next was quite unexpected. Some kids came up to the porch and timidly picked up one piece of candy, then quickly walked away. Other kids boldly stomped up to the bowl and swooped out handfuls of candy while ignoring my instructions. It became obvious after a short while that I had stumbled onto the makings of a rather interesting psychology experiment.
The question would be: do the children who take one piece of candy turn out to be people who are unsuccessful in life while the ones who grabbed as much as possible turn out to be the one-percenters? It took me almost a week to figure out the flaw in my thinking. I was looking at this from the completely wrong perspective.
After a week of reflection, I realized that the question wasn’t concerning how rich these children would turn out to be, but how HAPPY they would be. It was right there in front of me. The kids who took one piece of candy would grow up to be adults who would be content with who they were and the lives they made for themselves. The kids who grabbed as much as possible would never be satisfied no matter how much wealth they had.
Science be damned, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!