The good, the bad, and the philosophical
Friday, June 20, 2014
Some days one moves forward more than others.
When I was a kid (who knew everything, of course) I would bemoan this or that evil or injustice. My father, who I thought understood nothing at all, would say something along the lines of, "There has to be bad along with the good. We have to have bad to enjoy the good." He was more articulate than that, but you get the idea.
I thought that was absurd and clearly he was an idiot.
If good is good (I know that sounds tautological), then why would we want only some good? Why would we not want ALL good All the time? Of course we do want that - at least in a way.
But it seems that recognizing good as good is done as a contrast to that which is not good. In other words, it is the existence of bad that allows us to discern that which is good.
What the heck does this philosophical nonsense have to do with eating right?
Well, yesterday was not a good day in several ways - among those ways were my eating choices. Lunch was over my calorie budget, but I knew that in advance and was prepared to take that hit.
Then the university called. An older friend of ours had fallen on campus and was in the E.R. We ended up spending then next 8 - 10 hours at the hospital and then driving to and fro, here and there to get her back home and to drive her car from the campus parking lot to her apartment complex.
Well, in all that hubbub, we did not eat. By the time I did eat, it was almost 10 hours since lunch, easily 3 -4 hours past my normal evening mealtime. I was exhausted and hungry and opted for what was quick and available. Of course it was a stupid choice nutritionally, which left me bloated, full of sodium, disappointed in myself, and unsatisfied in general.
But, it does help me see the good. In several ways:
1. It's such a contrast to what I've been doing for several weeks.
2. It did NOT feel like a welcome relief. It did NOT feel like something I've been missing and was so glad to be experiencing again.
3. It was a stunning realization that this awful choice which bothered me so much used to be my normal fare.
My dad was smarter than I thought.
Mark Twain said it best:
"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."