More Futurethought

Posted by DesertFox on July 19, 2015, 6:34 p.m.

A man was walking along a road when he happened upon a child jumping up and down. As his path guidied him nearer, he realized that the child had placed a wrapped piece of candy upon the ground, and was in fact aggressively stomping on it with his boots. As he drew closer still, feet crunching softly on broken wrappers and crystallized confection, a conversation began.

Child, I see that you are stomping on something presumably intended for your mouth and not your feet; your toes will not find it nearly as delicious as your tongue would. You have stomped several, crushing the contents within and for what? The evidence lies on your shoes and now mine as well. Have you reason for this?

The child explained to the man that sometimes the candy would not let him eat it, such as when he had had too many pieces too quickly, or when Mother had ordered it so. In fact, now was just such a time. Mother had instructed the candy not to let the child have a piece until she was back, which was normally fine - but today, Mother was late. The child, feeling the passage of time, had decided that the wait had been long enough, and was now trying best to break this restrictment. However, the candy would not be opened. The normally pliable wrapper was fighting back, resisting all attempts to force it into releasing its sugary contents.

The child had resorted to brute strength after tiring of the struggle. Placing a piece of candy upon the ground, he then struck at it with his boot. The protective shell would not yield the first time, nor even the second, as the wrapper stiffened like a rock to protect a fragile payload. On the third or fourth though, the wrapper would give way, unable to hold together under a determined onslaught. Any blow capable of breaking through was more than sufficient to destroy what was within; the child had smashed a half-dozen at least in this manner, but had been unable to have even a single one.

The child brought down his foot but the man quickly snatched the piece, cracked but intact, from the ground before it would be crushed. Crouching down to meet the child at eye level, the man spoke.

Sit with me, child! Half of your candy is gone, and the rest will join them if you keep at it. You will then have no none left and will still have eaten no more than if you had waited in the first place. Sometimes patience is the only path, as all things change with time.

As the two sat in silence for a while, the man thought, wrapper twisting open in his hands obligingly before popping the contents in his mouth. The child cried out, wondering how the man was able to accomplish this task so easily where he could not. Then the child stated:

Sometimes patience opens another path.

A small hand was held out, holding a single piece of candy as well as the expectation that it would be returned, unwrapped. The man obliged, and got up to continue on his way. Savoring the flavor, he walked. Cherry. Tart and sweet.

I was just thinking about future smart packaging materials, packaging that could stiffen/harden to resist damage, or resist being opened by people who weren't supposed to be eating it. I was also feeling sort of Zen. Deal with it.