I stumbled upon a tweet by a brand asking people which superpower they’d rather have. Of the four available options, the ability to read minds was chosen the most — as of the time I checked. Three days earlier, a temperament test employed by my Pastor prior to teaching on temperaments asked the question, “If you were to have a superpower, what would it be?” She went on to say that she assumed most people would select “Ability to read minds”. I agree with her but I’m reminded of my long-held opinion of the things we carry on our minds.
While it feels empowering to know what the next person is thinking, I don’t quite see how much value it’d be in the long run, especially when we suddenly have access to information that should be kept away for good reason.
If I were sitting in a meeting and I felt that everything being discussed was hogwash, would it help to have my boss see what I was thinking at the moment? If I thought my friend was obese the moment I saw her after five years, would it help for her to read my mind right there? Would it matter that even though I thought that of her, the moment wasn’t right to suggest so to her?
I have judged people wrongly at initial contact but I have held myself from acting on such judgements. I have gone on to build strong friendships with folks who I wished could disappear from my sight earlier in our relationships. I like to think of myself as kind albeit mischievous. So, even though I do not think of harming the next person, I still do not wish that they see the things that I think. I don’t want the guy asking me out to know that I’m saying no because he smells bad. I’m not ready to have my neighbour know that I consider her a terrible mother. Well, I hope she gets to find out but not yet.
How about the pains I do not wish to share? What do I say to random strangers who can see the fear inside of me while I put up a confident front in the most awkward situations? I am thinking of all the things we never say and I wonder if we can really keep up with either reading minds or having people read our minds.