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People Are Like Food

Photo taken from: Closet Cooking: Ribeye Steak in Wine Sauce

Have you ever noticed how the best tastes are acquired and not immediately liked? As I was enjoying a nice hot cup of black coffee, I thought to myself, “When did this happen? I mean coffee… and black?” That’s disgusting– to the undeveloped tounge. Black licorice, onions, spicy foods, medium rare steak, Hawaiian pizza, espresso, and the list goes on…. Okay I lost some of you back there ( I personally can’t account for spicy). But the point is that there are all kinds of strange and different foods out there that given only a first try, might leave a bitter taste in our mouths. This can be summed up in the popular phrase “first impressions are everything.” And while there might be a hint of truth in that statement, I think that it does a disservice to not only our taste buds, but our potential relationships as well. How many times have we wanted to hit the reset button and reintroduce ourselves because of how much of a goof we made of ourselves (I speak from experience)? And how many times have we written people off because of something they said just once or it might have been just the expression on their face (some people just have a surly disposition)?

Now let’s not take this analogy too far. I’m not suggesting that if we just eat something for long enough we will like it or that we even should like it. No matter how much one eats dirt, it still tastes like dirt (and so does Turkish coffee– it’ll put hair on your chest). So it is with people; if someone is rude, they will confirm it time and time again. On the other hand, sometimes coffee gets better with each taste. It goes something like this:

  1. Disgusting
  2. Less distasteful
  3. Tolerable
  4. Not bad
  5. Kind of tasty
  6. Delicious
  7. Costanza!

And you’re hooked for life. Of course there is this scenario:

  1. Annoying
  2. More annoying
  3. Intolerable
  4. Nasty
  5. Never gonna touch the stuff

Notice this is a much shorter lists. If something is more distasteful every next taste, we won’t be so patient.

Now this is not a rule for life but more of an observation of life. For example when Peter asked Jesus “should we forgive 7 times?” (feeling pretty generous), Jesus responded with seventy times seven! But that is a different matter– a much more important matter; the issue of forgiveness. I am simply suggesting that just as we would like to be given a second chance perhaps we can return the favor next time someone starts to get under our skin. I think we would all be a little happier whether at work, a restaurant, a friend of a friend’s house, a park, or anywhere we might run into a new face.

I have found that giving people the benefit of the doubt most of the time really helps to grease the wheels of human interaction. I have often been on the “stick-foot-in-mouth” side of things and sometimes have had the opportunity to redeem myself but also have had to leave that one embarrassing snapshot of myself.

Getting back to food, as I mentioned above, some of my favorite foods and drinks have been acquired over time and if I hadn’t tried it multiple times I never would have been able to enjoy that sweet aroma and satisfying sip of black coffee or the delightful taste of a cheeseburger with the works. Humans really aren’t that different from food. They are not only meant for daily consumption (metaphorically speaking) but are to be cherished and enjoyed. What could be better than to share a favorite meal with an acquired friend?


One response

  1. Charity smith

    Justin I totally agree. And you are a great writer by the way.

    September 27, 2011 at 4:16 am

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