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April 2017

Olive Moments

My first “Olive Moment”

My first “Olive Moment”

Roughly eighteen months ago now I had an experience and it changed me, I think it changed me forever, well, at least I really hope it has.

I was in Belgium with my friend Marc, we were visiting his father for the weekend. I go quite often with Marc to do this, it is becoming a regular thing now. In the course of the weekend we always eat well, really well, in fact… maybe too well.

On one of our many enjoyable meals out, Marc did what he always did… He offered me an olive when they were brought to the table. As always, my instinctive reaction was to say “I hate Olives”. I not say “I don’t like them”, it was “I HATE them”.

He would of course shake his head and say “How could you not like olives?”. My response would always be “I just do, I always have, ever since the first time I tried one”.

As we talked about me hating olives something dawned on me.

Yes, it is true that I don’t like olives, well at least that was true the last time I had tried one. I began to remember that time… I honestly hated the taste, I really did. The problem was that I could not remember a single time after that first experience when I tried them again.

That first experience of eating an olive I was in my late teens, I am now fifty three…

The awareness of this fact slowly descended on me as the discussion continued and I came to the realisation that for probably around thirty five years now I have simply help on to an opinion formed at a time when I was still forming as a person.

I thought to myself “This is insane”.

So I did what I had seen probably thousands of people do countless times over the previous thirty five years…

I pushed a tooth pick into a green olive and put it in my mouth, and began to chew. My Initial reaction was “Yuck”, but as the seconds went by I found the experience change into something quite good, yes good. Then after one, I tried another. Then I tried a dark olive, it was totally different, and… It was good.

That was a big moment for me. Not because of an olive, but what I realised was that I had an experience once, formed an opinion, and held on to that opinion seemingly for the rest of my time.

I thought “How stupid could I have been”. I had one experience of something and actually believed that in that one experience I had experiences everything that encompasses olives.

My profession requires me to have an opinion, and I am not shy in sharing them. I have an opinion on everything, annoyingly so I am sure for many. As the days passed after my olive experience I began to wonder how many other opinions do I have which would follow the same path?

Many it seems.

What I decided to do was to re establish my opinions on everything that I could, simply to try again anything where I had previously had a less than favourable experience.

More and more, I found that I was actually wrong in my beliefs. Initially I found this reality uncomfortable, but after a while I actually began to enjoy it. Today “I love it”…

So that explains an “Olive moment”, its not really about an olive, its about a change in me…!