I picked up a can because it was on sale at Stop & Shop. The can was approximately half the price of regular cashews, which was somewhat amazing but odd. After all, if someone were to shake up a can of Planters Cashews, they would get a can of Planters Halves & Pieces, but it would cost twice as much. In some people’s eyes, the product would be “ruined,” while it was essentially the same product. In like fashion, if I were so motivated (and on Pandemic Time, anything’s possible), I could probably glue Cashew Halves & Pieces together with cashew butter and double the value of my initial investment.
Here’s a sobering thought: people on limited budgets, and certainly the poor, may never have tasted a whole cashew. For reasons of frugality and necessity, they may have always made the choice to get the Halves & Pieces, and think they are missing out, because only the well-off can afford whole cashews.
(This is where most of you can sense a parable coming.)
Now that life has been shaken up, many of us are approaching life as if we got “stuck” with the halves and pieces, and we’re sad, or angry, or resentful that we don’t have our “whole” or “intact” life. But this is an illusion. Life is still life, after all; every life has dings and bruises. Each of us will feel as if we got dropped once in a while, some more than others. Furthermore, we can construct a whole, fulfilling life out of halves and pieces. We may even see a benefit in the halves and pieces, at the very least an acknowledgment that we have something to work with ~ what some call blessings.
Those who spring for the whole cashews will likely be disappointed, because there will probably be some halves and pieces in the can as well. Life is not perfect, and the expectation of perfection amplifies every imperfection. And if cashews had brains (they do not, although they are allegedly good for the brain), they might wonder, “What is all the fuss about? You’re going to eat us anyway, and turn us all into pieces!”
In conclusion, those who are willing and able to spring for whole cashews are rewarded by having what some would call “a better crunch,” while those who for any reason buy halves and pieces save money. In like fashion, whether life seems whole or broken right now, it is still a life, and it still has a bright side ~ we just have to look for it and try not to go nuts while we do.