The scent of a fresh, ripe mango can be intoxicating. The sweetness of its nectar beckons you to savor its rich flavor. Yet, the simple act of eating a mango is not as straightforward as one might think. For years, despite my affection for the fruit, I refrained from indulging, uncertain how to navigate its unfamiliar terrain. It wasn't until someone demonstrated the correct approach that I embraced the mango wholeheartedly. Now, I share this wisdom with you.

The Art of Eating a Mango

Here's how you enjoy a mango: Begin by slicing the fruit lengthways, staying close to the seed. Cut this slice halfway lengthwise. Then, peel the skin back on either side of the piece using your fingers and teeth, enjoying the juicy pulp. Repeat the process with the other side of the fruit.

After both sides have been consumed, you're left with the mango seed encased in a thin layer of remaining flesh and skin. At this point, peel the skin away and relish the remaining fruit around the seed. It might not be as easy as biting into an apple, but the reward is worth the extra effort. Now, I find myself reaching for mangoes at every opportunity.

Here's a slightly different way to eat a mango.

Life, Mangos, and New Experiences

If we consider life to be a melody, the joy lies in the tune's progression, the rhythm's rise and fall, and the surprise of a new key. However, finding oneself stuck in a repetitive verse may indicate stagnation. Life, like music, needs variation, improvisation, and the occasional unexpected note to retain its intrigue and vibrancy. This concept beautifully resonates with the simple act of learning to eat a mango.

Mangoes can initially be daunting with their exotic appeal and unique taste. Like a new experience, they might feel unfamiliar, challenging our routine. Yet, learning to eat a mango is akin to breaking free from that repetitive rhythm, that familiar tune we hum without a second thought. It represents the shift from a known comfort to a new thrill, the leap from the customary to the unexplored.

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We are creatures of habit, and we often find ourselves resisting change and novel experiences. We might find it easier to follow an existing path than to carve a new one. But when we allow our lives to become a mere series of routine acts, we are, in a sense, marching to the beat of someone else's drum. We are merely echoing someone else's song rather than composing our own.

Each new experience, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential, has the potential to add a fresh note to our life's melody. It's the surprise fundamental change in the song of our lives, the unexpected chord that adds depth to our melody. Embracing new experiences, such as learning to eat a mango, is a way to take charge of our rhythm to dance to our tune. It is about daring to venture out of the known, breaking free from old patterns, and bravely stepping into the sweet unpredictability of the new.

So, let's embrace the unfamiliar, venture into the undiscovered, and add more notes to the symphony of our lives, for it is through these varied notes, these new experiences, that we create a harmonious, rich, and fulfilling life song. Don't shy away from trying something new today; the sweetest fruits often lie just beyond the edges of our comfort zone.

Our Genetic and Behavioral Heritage

We are a blend of our past—our genetic heritage traces back to our parents, grandparents, and even to the early mammals from eons ago. While not oversimplifying, our behaviors are influenced by our ancestors and everyone else we've encountered.

Moreover, our experiences shape us profoundly. For example, if we consume food and subsequently fall ill, we may avoid it in the future, even if it is not the cause of our sickness. These experiences shape our frame of reference, sometimes leading to prejudices that can limit our life experiences.

Challenging Your Frame of Reference

Life, in its most profound sense, is an ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth. Part of this journey is recognizing and challenging our inherited biases and self-imposed limitations. We all have a unique frame of reference, a lens through which we perceive and interpret the world. This framework is constructed from our genes, upbringing, experiences, and the societal norms ingrained in us.

However, our frame of reference is not a static or unchangeable entity. Instead, it's a dynamic structure constantly shaped and reshaped by our experiences and insights. It can be likened to the banks of a river that continually adapt to the river's flow. We have the ability—and indeed, the responsibility—to critically examine our framework, question its basis, and make necessary changes.

To foster personal growth and development, it's essential to remain curious and to question our deep-seated beliefs and assumptions. Being open to change is a critical component of this process. While often unsettling, change is the driving force behind evolution and progress. Embracing change allows us to adapt, learn, and mature.

Moreover, welcoming new experiences, irrespective of their scale, can significantly influence our perspective. Even seemingly insignificant encounters or lessons can profoundly affect our world understanding. The act of learning to eat a mango, for instance, is a relatively minor experience. Yet, it exemplifies embracing something unfamiliar, challenging our preconceived notions and habits, and delighting in the new knowledge and experiences it brings.

By continually challenging and expanding our frame of reference, we become more receptive to the diversity of life's offerings. We begin to appreciate the variety and richness of human experience and allow ourselves to be shaped by our wisdom and encounters rather than clinging to outdated prejudices or assumptions. This openness to growth and transformation is the essence of a life well-lived.

Embracing the Sweetness of Life

In life, as in tasting a mango, sweetness lies in embracing the new and unfamiliar. Mangoes, with their alluring fragrance and succulent taste, serve as a compelling metaphor for this adventurous spirit. Their distinct flavor profile, which marries sweetness with a hint of tartness, is a tantalizing mystery to the uninitiated, an epitome of the unknown and the unexplored.

Every time we bite into mango's soft, juicy flesh, we're reminded of the importance of stepping outside our comfort zones. Just as we overcome the initial unfamiliarity of the mango's exterior to uncover its sweet treasure, we should also not hesitate to venture into uncharted territories in our own lives. The seemingly challenging or complex circumstances often hold the most rewarding experiences. Exploring new landscapes, whether a contemporary cuisine, culture, or personal habit, embodies the diverse flavors life offers.

Mangoes thrive in tropical climates across the globe, and their cultivation is an art in itself. India, in particular, is renowned for its abundant mango production, boasting a variety of species that range in flavor, size, and color. These regions' balmy weather and ample sunlight serve as the perfect nurturing grounds for these tantalizing fruits, symbolizing the warmth and vibrancy that new experiences can bring into our lives.

Just as each variety of mango brings a unique taste and texture, each new experience enriches our life with a different perspective. New experiences broaden our worldview, deepen our understanding, and color our life's canvas with myriad shades of experiences. They allow us to grow, evolve, and embrace the genuine sweetness of life.

So, take that step, venture into the unknown, and open yourself up to life's array of experiences. Don't avoid trying that new activity or learning a new skill. Much like learning to eat a mango, it may seem daunting at first, but the reward you reap is an incomparable sweetness that adds to your life's tapestry. The adventure that life is, like the taste of ripe mango, is much sweeter than you can imagine.

About the Author

jenningsRobert Jennings is co-publisher of with his wife Marie T Russell. He attended the University of Florida, Southern Technical Institute, and the University of Central Florida with studies in real estate, urban development, finance, architectural engineering, and elementary education. He was a member of the US Marine Corps and The US Army having commanded a field artillery battery in Germany. He worked in real estate finance, construction and development for 25 years before starting in 1996.

InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as Please support our work.

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