Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Proof is in the Pudding

I've been thinking about the statement recently: "The proof is in the pudding" and wondering what it really means.

Here's what I found out. The phrase is actually a shortened version of the original "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," which came either from the Miguel de Cervantes novel Don Quixote in 1605 or from these other various sources, according to Ask Yahoo:

Word Detective and the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms note that the phrase came into use around 1600. However, a bulletin board quotes The Dictionary of Cliches, which dates the phrase to the 14th century. The board also mentions a 1682 version from Bileau's Le Lutrin, which read, "The proof of th' pudding's seen i' the eating." A page of pudding definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary also cites the author Boileau (Bileau) as the first to use the phrase. So it seems likely that the phrase dates back to the 1600s, though the identity of its author is disputed.
I even found a blog with the same title.

My point is that if you really want to know how someone is doing, don't ask that person - look at the results in his/her life. That's where the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Many people say they are happy, but their lives speak differently. Change is one of the subjects that brings results front and center and for many people change is very daunting. They are comfortable in their familiar zone, choosing to stay put and fight any external changes by building thicker walls around that zone. It appears as though they prefer being lonely inside the walls they have built; but most of the time these people don't appear to be especially happy.

So what is it about change that causes so many people to bury their heads in the sand? Is it that it's unknown? Would we really prefer a life where we know absolutely everything that is going to happen so we can maintain some false sense of control?

I think the underlying reason some people try to so desperately to disguise their results is fear, however that fear manifests itself in their lives. We want to dress up our pain and our unhappiness by keeping a strong upper lip and bucking up and taking it for the team and all those other cliches that keep us from being honest - first with ourselves and then with others.

I've noticed that many times the people who will fight hardest to keep things the same are some of the same folks who fight against things rather than stand for them. They seem to be people who make others wrong for allowing growth and evolution to take place naturally. "If only things would go back to the way they were when I was a kid (or when I was in charge, or some other place and time of their choosing)," they say. "Now those were the good old days."

They seem to be many of the same people who want everyone else to do the changing to see the world the way they see it.

I subscribe to many daily e-mail messages, and today's from the Nightingale-Conant Company was a wonderful Nelson Mandela quote which really inspired this post today.

"One of the most difficult things is not to change society -
but to change yourself."

So, how might society change if each of us looks at the results in our own lives with an objective eye and determines once and for all that the way to change those results is to change our minds about those results? How might we be able to support each other in standing FOR something instead of fighting AGAINST something?

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let's open our minds and ask new questions about our current results. Anybody in?


At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this serving of chocolate pudding that ranged from Don Quixote to change avoiders/resisters and fear. Well done.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...


So great to hear from you! Thank you so much for your feedback, and also for everything you stand FOR. I'm proud to call you my northern neighbor and friend! I'm counting on you to help with next year's Bigger Small Talk Summit here in Fargo!! ;)

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post! I really love "fight against things rather than stand against them." I've got to think long and hard about that one. How often are we fighting (ego, fear) versus taking a stand (faith, integrity, honesty).

Awesome, awesome. Thank you.

Tracy Boatright

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting, Tracy! I'm learning so much about awareness, which I believe is always the first step to transforming the results in our lives. I'm glad you have something more to think about after visiting!


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