Life-changing Chocolate

A chocolate bar can change your life.

Yeah, you read right: a chocolate bar. And I don’t mean the way it changed MacGyver’s life when he was trapped in that room with the leaky vat of acid. That’s when he had nothing but his Swiss Army knife and a Hershey bar. Remember that one? The episode where he used chocolate to seal the leak because the chemical reaction with the metal sealed it tighter than any commercial polymer.

I really miss that show. But that’s not my point.

A chocolate bar can change your life because it equips you with a simple set of rules:

  1. Chocolate Tastes Good
  2. Sharing Makes it Taste Better

I know there isn’t much to it; but it sure makes life easier. Regardless of the fads of pop philosophy, the older I get the more I truly begin to believe that I learned everything I need to know in kindergarten.

It really hit home for me when I was having a stressful day at work. I plopped down in my boss’s office to discuss some software glitch or layout detail, I don’t remember, to be honest. He was just opening a Hershey’s Special Dark bar.

“You like chocolate, right?” He said. And he handed me half the bar. We sat there and talked about the problem as we enjoyed our chocolate. Like I said, I don’t remember the conversation now, but I sure do remember the chocolate.

It’s the simple pleasures in life that really make the difference. I can live without prime rib, but I’d miss cheeseburgers hot off the grill. Truffles and petit-fors are okay, but I have trouble sleeping without my Fig Newtons before bed.

The list could go on. I’d rather wear my old Doc Martens than break in a new pair of shoes. T-shirts feel better than the starched formality of collar and tie. And who doesn’t have an old pair of jeans they’d wear every day if they could? And there are some who do.

It doesn’t take heroic effort to make a difference in the world around us. Sharing really does make chocolate taste better; the simplest kindnesses make life worth living. “Random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” is more than a catch phrase. Kindness is truth in it’s truest form; and, as the great poet John Keats said, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”

I don’t want to live in an ugly world; and though sometimes we humans revel and wallow in the ugliness we bring upon ourselves, we are capable of creating a great deal of beauty too. In the end, cynicism and bitterness must surrender to the kindness of a stranger’s smile, an unexpected helping hand at the grocery or a surprise offer to share a chocolate bar.