There was a man that could read minds.
At first, he thought, wow this is an amazing skill to have. So, he went into restaurants and started listening to conversations. It was quite entertaining at first. Then, he started using his skill for his advantage. He patted himself in the back when he got what he wanted. He thought, “Huh, they have no clue that I know what they think”.
A few years passed by. He had now gotten tired of using his skill for his benefit. Now he was simply observing others. He started diving deep into his interactions. He analyzed the thoughts that were going through someone’s head when they were speaking to him. He tried to give them what they wanted or what they wished for.
One day, he was hanging around some friends and felt extremely uncomfortable. He could no longer just enjoy life. He was constantly concerned about what someone else was thinking; what they were going to say to another person about him or someone else. His life was suddenly filled with other people’s thoughts. His own thoughts were now drowning.
For the first time since his realization, he felt burdened. What once felt like a blessing now weighed him down like a curse. He looked around him and saw thousands of people that couldn’t read minds. They were just happy to live based on what they saw and heard. They had no clue that sometimes their loved ones were not being honest.
Then he wished that he couldn’t read minds. He wanted to be normal. Years passed by. He found himself getting farther and farther away from civilization. He just couldn’t deal with the make believe comments and conversations anymore. One day, he met an old man. He asked him “Son, how are you?” He realized that this man was sincerely interested to know how he was doing. He shared his experience with the man and explained why he was living in the outskirts of civilization.
The old man smiled and said “I was like you once. I too got tired of reading other peoples’ minds.” The mind reader was excited. He wanted to know how to deal with it. The old man said that he simply decided to not read other peoples’ minds one day. He said that he realized even when he read someone’s mind; he still enjoyed listening to what the other person had to say. Words, he said have power. It still takes effort to make a thought into audible, comprehendible sounds. He left the man with the poem below and said “Go back to the city if you want. It’s not as bad as you think. You have two ears. Keep them clean. Don’t let what you don’t like stick in between. Listen from one and let it go from the other.”
“Opinions are like onions,
They are tasty when cooked.
But if you peel one out in bed,
You will wake up stinking like one”