We are full of sh*t
Posted on September 27th, 2012
The evidence of the early morning meeting surrounded the office entryway. Adjacent trays were stacked high with crinkled napkins, soiled plates and drained coffee cups. In front on me, a table featured a cluttered pile of empty Dunkin’ Donuts boxes.
What drew an extra bit of my attention was the script covering the front of these vessels of sugary, deep fried delights. Right next to the DD logo was the bold statement, “America runs on Dunkin’!” My initial reaction was to disregard such nonsense. After all, my day actually began with a tall glass of vegetable and fruit juice, complete with a dash of protein powder and fresh coconut milk.
You could ask, “What America are they talking about? Who would start a morning as beautiful and promising as this one by stuffing their face with industrialized pastries?” I reminded myself that the vast majority of this populace gladly queues right out of the door at establishments like this every single morning to break fast.
Yes, it’s frustrating. But you have to remind yourself that these are matters of awareness. To the average person, you simply need food in the morning. Donuts and neatly packaged breakfast sandwiches passed between foggy morning car windows are convenient, delicious and cheap.
Remember, there’s the truth, and then there’s what you think the truth should be. Oh, what a difference!
There was another little fascinating line of text in the upper right-hand corner of those boxes…a bold line, “Zero Grams of Trans Fat!” Oh, isn’t that something? At first I felt a little guilty about scarfing down five glazed cruller and a cup of sugar-coffee for breakfast, but look, this stuff is actually healthy! Oh course this isn’t true. And I would venture a guess that those eating these confections didn’t quite believe it either. It’s just that they wanted to believe it, so the truth took a familiar turn towards a handy rationalization.
This is an easy decision to make, isn’t it? No air-tight evidence required, only a whispered suggestion. The conformation bias strikes again.
This seems to be a common play by good ol’ Dunkin’ D. Why, just today they announced an organizational shift towards utilizing only cage free eggs in their breakfast offerings. Is that a good thing? I suppose so, on some level. But without, doubt good will is not the objective here. It’s simply a matter of convincing a few more ravenous commuting hordes that a palm sized breakfast sandwich containing over 500 calories and no trace of micro-nutrition is wholesome and healthy, for crissakes!
It’s mind boggling, but damn effective marketing. Our collective, rapidly expanding waistbands are proof of that.
So what can be done? Well, the informed among should humbly take any opportunity to educate those around us that maybe, just maybe, a bit of real food in the morning would do their bodies good. It’s always a nice thing to share a bit of knowledge. But at the same time, we must remind ourselves that we are just as blind. Oh yes, one man’s folly is another’s truth!
Yes, we are all full of shit on some level. The quicker we accept that, the sooner we’ll take a few more steps towards a better, more fulfilling, more honest reality. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?
I call on you to inspect your day. What do you take for granted? What seems unquestionable? What are your well-worn ruts, routines, and habits? Have you ever honestly questioned them? Turned them on their heads? And what are you reading? Is it comforting to you? Would you consider that it could all be bullshit? It could be. Maybe you should pick up something a little different…drop the useless routine…surround yourself with better company. Do it.
Here’s the thing about the truth. Scratch at it and it quickly begins to reveal itself. No, it’s not always easy. It will burn, like a rush of frigid air against exposed skin, but it’s worthwhile.
We must remind ourselves that to feel the burn is to feel something. Isn’t that better than being numb?