I've known Amy Martin for about four years. She's been a great help behind the scenes in our last two Sacred Friendship Gatherings. Last year she wrote this great post on attraction and shame over here. I am thrilled that Amy wanted to write a guest post for this month.
Lately, our family has had a bit of an obsession watching Mythbusters, a science entertainment television series created for the Discovery Chanel. Other than what I can only assume is a prerequisite to blow something up every show, the basic outline goes something like this: Find common myth, test common myth, confirm common myth as “plausible,” “confirmed,” or “busted.”
With it’s messes, explosions and sometimes unbelievable lengths they go to to test an urban legend, it’s entertaining to be sure, but what I really love is the spirit of the show which looks at something commonly assumed to be true and replies, “Really? Let’s test that.” Maybe my resonance with the spirit of Mythbusters has something to do with the way I’m wired, well-exampled a mere 4 years into my life when our preschool class made homemade donuts. Ms. Pat warned us with a seriousness I’d not seen in her sweet preschool-teacher demeanor before, “Do not touch the donut fryer, it’s VERY HOT.” Now, I wasn’t an impulsive child in the least, but I was curious, and skeptical of any assumptions - and Ms. Pat seemed pretty darned convinced of this one. I sat there on my miniature chair, 4-year-old cogs sifting, sorting, weighing, my blond pigtails behind me and the donut fryer right in front of me, “Really? What is very hot?” I wondered to myself.
I got a blister on the tip of my finger that day. Donut fryers are very hot: Confirmed.
I would go through my childhood, adolescence and into adulthood constantly sifting, sorting, weighing and questioning why things were the way they were, and why people believed the things they believed. Plausible? Confirmed? Busted? I needed to know because I soon figured out that sometimes the adults were wrong, and not only that, sometimes they were so dead wrong, that a misunderstanding was blocking a better way to do something, or a more in-depth view of a situation or a person. I could not stop asking, Is this true? And if it’s not, what if identifying and shedding that belief meant something could be better? I did all of this quietly most of the time because I quickly found out, (especially as a girl, and especially in the church) that voicing new ideas about old things, no matter how dysfunctional, would get you pushed to the fringes faster than a finger gets a blister touching a hot donut fryer. The questions went underground, but the myth-busting continued.