Nothing is more irksome to me than someone telling me, when they see I don’t like my food touching, that “it all goes to the same place anyway.” First I will state the obvious; if this were true, that it doesn’t matter that all food gets mixed together, then that would be the way we eat it. There would be no room for likes or dislikes, or separation of food at any level. There would be no recipes, no taste buds unique to the individual. We wouldn’t be built to differentiate. The saying is just a way for people to disdainfully comment on someone else’s personal tastes. It’s a chance to call a decisive person neurotic.
People who use the fore mentioned statement also tend to spout the “children should be seen and not heard” cliche`. This one is even more maddening to me than the first. Do people really want to raise 100% quiet and compliant children? Do they really want to take their voices away from them, so that they grow up to be crippled by lack of individualism and principle?
I pray that I one day have a child that argues with me. I want them to ask me why things are wrong, and why rules exist. When they get in trouble I want to give them an account of why it happened. I will refuse to buy them paint-by-number coloring books, or dolls that come already named. I’m not an extremist…I don’t want to raise a nation of brats who have no respect for their elders or certain traditions, but I hope I can raise an individual, and teach that individual to think if nothing else. Like the wheel, some things don’t need to reinvented, but we have to explore to know what those things are. There’s just a shortage of people now who ask before they are spoon fed; who or what filled that spoon?
I will again quote my beloved Fitzgerald who said, “Either think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.” So often we are condemned for being heard, or fighting the majority. We are crucified for being unpleasant, whatever the real definition of that is. The worst part is that these ideas, always being cool with the status quo, are molded into our malleable heads as children when we are taught over and over to blend in. We are taught to be silent, not to disrupt, and above all to deny our taste buds, never to fuss over our mashed potatoes touching our green beans.
I love my taste buds, and I love my parent’s for letting me use them.