After 45 years of marriage I found out something new about my wife: she peels a banana the wrong way! I made this astonishing discovery while we were on a trip in the car. We decided to snack on a couple of bananas. I glanced at her when she started to peel hers. “You’re peeling that the wrong way,” I said. I’m usually not this abrupt in correcting my wife, but the situation demanded it. It turns out she always peels it from the non-stem end.
I just assumed everyone peeled a banana from the stem end – isn’t that why God put the stem there? My wife, however, argued that it’s part of the handle you hold on to when you eat it, so you peel the other end.
Sensitized to this new issue that potentially can divide people, I pursued the rumor that monkeys peel a banana from the non-stem end. Of course this assumes that monkeys are the experts on eating a banana, but I checked into it anyway. A primate expert says most monkeys don’t eat bananas in the wild and that they don’t have any certain way to peel one. I then watched numerous youtube videos of monkeys peeling bananas (what lengths I go to in order to do serious research). Most videos showed the monkeys sort of attacking the banana any which way, often mangling it more than peeling it. It’s a myth that monkeys have a set way to peel a banana; no help here.
I will admit that when checking out a variety of web sites most say the correct way is to do it my wife’s way, peeling the banana from the non-stem end. My wife edits all my writing so, Hon, this is my way of admitting to you that you’re right. (In spite of the banana split in our relationship I still find her appealing!)
The banana episode is a good reminder that we all see things differently and do things differently and that’s okay. Many times what others do that annoys us or even hurts us is not because they are doing something wrong or being sinful; they’re just being different, being themselves.
I’m not saying there’s no right and wrong to our actions and behaviors, there is. We do sin. Sometimes we do need to ask for forgiveness and offer forgiveness. It’s just that quite often our conflict with another person isn’t about right and wrong but about differences and preferences. There’s more than one way to peel a banana, and to do a lot of other things too!
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)