Goldilocks couldn’t wash a dish, and my compassion failure hurt her. Deeply.
I realised my mistake almost immediately.
The next day, I explained what I had done wrong. I suggested a do-over, and gave her a chance to master a mundane but necessary skill. I explained that her “problem” (if it can be called that) is not lack of intelligence of basic common sense. It’s simply that her mind operates at such a high level, all the time, that these sorts of entry-level tasks barely crack a nod on its interest radar.
I further explained that washing dishes is meditation. It’s an opportunity to think, to breathe, to plan, to be – all while keeping one’s hands busy with something that really is very important. Not to mention simple to execute. You can do it on autopilot with enough practice (and “enough” is not a lot at all). This leaves your brain free to wander the cosmos while your body is engaged in an activity that perpetuates life, if you think about it. Clean dishes mean healthy humans.
An added bonus is the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that accompanies the end of the task (not to mention the obvious relief :)).
The same is true of all chores. The more mundane, the more meditative.
She considered my words. Then she went and washed the dishes. All of them. She finished the chore in a better mood than the one in which she’d started – and she’d started in a very good mood indeed.