Looking Inside the Tent
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire occurs early in the film. Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys are going to the World Quidditch Cup Match (or something like that). They arrive at the “campgrounds” and come upon the Wesley’s tent. It is small. Very small. Pup tent small. Harry stands looking at it, wondering how the whole Weasley family, Hermione and he are going to get into the tiny thing, much less spend any time in it together. All of the others just lift the tent flap, and go in without hesitation. Harry finally follows. Inside, he finds a gigantic room (relative to tents, that is) with beautiful rugs, tables, chairs, furniture, curtains – opulence and wonder. I wish I could adequately describe the look on his face when he says, “I love magic!”
A friend of my mother makes this kind of candy – it looks like glass of different color. She doesn’t flavor it as you would expect, however. Red candy might be lemon flavored. Green is probably cherry, purple would be mint and yellow would be cinnamon.
And then there’s this story that I found on a blog.
Harry could have looked at the tent, so small and unassuming, and gone home, thinking that “This just won’t work.” He would have missed a great adventure. People who don’t like mint candy would pass over the green pieces, knowing that purple would be safe. The office manager in Douglasville, Georgia could have just spread the news that an escort service had started business down the road.
How often do we do this? How often do we make judgements with little or no information? What do we pre-judge?
- Children – I do this bunches. We think we know what our children are going to say or do, so we stop them ahead of time. We don’t let them ask questions; we curb their actions since we already know what they want or need. Sometimes we do; sometimes we’re (I’m) wrong.
- Ideas – How often do I say something negative about an idea someone else has because I think, from looking at it, that it won’t work? That’s we’ve either tried it before, or have an expectation of how it will work out, so that we veto it before it even has a chance. We think it might be too much work, or that no one will be interested in participating, so we put on the brakes.
- People – You know this happens, and so do I. I do it, and I bet you do, too. We judge people by the way they look, the way they walk, what they wear, what they drive, where they live, and how much they weigh, without ever “opening the tent flap” to see what’s behind the façade. We know ahead of time what older people, younger people, women, men, children, people of different races, countries and religions are going to say, do, how they will act, and what they believe – or what we think they should say, do , act and believe – before we hear a word or see a movement from them.
Image: Fog on the VA hill hiding the valley behind the hospital.