´ Strengths at the Grocery Store -
September 22, 2014


During the World Cup in Brazil the thing that surprised me the most had nothing to do with football. It had to do with carrots and cheese.Unless you are a three year old going to the supermarket is probably not an exciting task for you. Dull routine tasks are  a great opportunity to use your strengths because the brain space occupied is pretty minimal. Now if you never have a moment of peace and any time to reflect under no circumstances try out what I am about to suggest. Seriously, if the supermarket is the only place your thoughts can roam in peace let them enjoy the delicious mindlessness of wandering up and down the aisles in a confused and hugely inefficient manner while being bombarded with music that is so bad you are secretly delighted to hear it, because you wouldn’t want anyone to catch you listening to it otherwise.

The first thing that truly amazed me about Brazil was how huge the carrots were (no I am not trying to sneak in adult humour, I am talking about the vegetable). I felt like a child that had somehow stumbled into the pantry of giants with very healthy eating habits. It’s the kind of tool I would give to a toddler wanting to try baseball for the first time. Same with the avocados. But what if you are shopping at home and everything is normally sized?

You can appreciate some serious beauty when checking out the product labels. Or how awesomely shaped a pineapple is. You can construct elaborate silly stories about the people waiting in line with you instead of unimaginatively checking your phone. My mum loved to see what kind of drugs are on sale and then construct theories as to why this particular country or part of town was suffering with issues unheard of at home (it’s actually hilarious but too naughty even for me to mention here). You can shop in accordance with your values by checking out environmental facts or how the animals were treated, be the kindest customer you can be or try to solve the mystery as to why vegetables and fruits are always close to the entrance although they are the most fragile items and should therefore logically be placed close to the checkout (hint: everything is placed where it makes the most money). You can try to find the dumbest product name or feel pride for your country because it has mastered to produce the kind of toilet paper that no amount of money can buy other places.

It may sound silly and childish to do any of this but happiness is about finding joy in both the little and the big things. Lots of small steps can bring you to a level where your happiness might suddenly jump exponentially.

Well I nearly forgot the cheese in Brazil. It was imported from Switzerland. Less than half a pound was competitively priced at 63 dollars. I am not making this up. A lump of cheese that in my extremely expensive home country I could get for 4.50 was 63 dollars. Forget about kidnapping people. It seems in Brazil kidnapping Swiss cheese would be a better idea than a Swiss person (go on, calculate your weight in cheese to arrive at some staggering numbers).






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