Wet Paint

There’s an old saw that if you tell someone there’s 1 billion people in China, they’ll believe you, but if you put up a wet paint sign, they’ll have to touch the paint to be sure. I find it interesting that we believe some things easily and others not so easily.  Or even sometimes, we may think we believe something until we actually experience it. Then we somehow believe it even more.

Two incidents of this nature occurred to me within the last year.  Last year I drove to my uncle’s house in South Carolina in order to observe the total eclipse. Prior to totality, one of the phenomena that I knew would happen was seeing crescent shaped “shadows”. (Really it’s sort of the reverse since you’re seeing crescent shaped light.) I mean I had read about it, I had seen pictures, and I basically understood why they would occur.  And yet, at one point I was walking back into the house to do something when I looked down and lo and behold… I saw crescent shaped “shadows”.  My reaction was one of “Holy Cow, this really DOES happen!”  Now, I had no doubt intellectually that it should happen, or that I would most likely see it. But, actually seeing it was still amazing and while I really had no reason to have to verify the phenomenon, the fact that I personally had experienced it was incredible. I understood it at a visceral level, not just an intellectual one.

The second incident occurred just the other day. As a long-time sufferer of allergies, spring time has sometimes been a bit less than comfortable for me. And over the years, I had seen videos of pine trees releasing their pollen in a massive cloud (I’m thankfully NOT allergic to pine pollen it appears) but I had never actually experienced it myself. So again, I knew intellectually it happens.

So two days ago I was sitting outside looking at a pine tree when suddenly I saw this puff of what looked like smoke, and then a cloud of pollen waft away from the tree. Again, I had experienced that Holy Cow moment when the visceral experience matched the intellectual one. It was pretty cool.

That all said, I have stopped touching wet paint at this point in my life. But I still love these sort of confirming experiences (though I’m not eager to start counting heads in China at this time).

What facts did you know that when you finally experienced them first hand, had an impact upon you. I’d love to hear them.

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