I really really love food. I love eating it. I love talking about it. I love thinking about it. In fact, I’m fairly vocal about my food opinions. I don’t like seafood. Yuck! It smells like feet. Can’t do it. I hate eating meat on the bone. Makes me feel like a cannibal and the moisture of the meat eeks me out. I love tacos. I would eat tacos everyday if that was an option. Pizza is fantastic too. Cheese, my goodness, I love cheese. And don’t even get me started on lemons. I can barely go a day without my lemons.
It’s easy to say I have pretty vocal opinions on food. One would assume that I would be self-aware of what my favorite foods were. I mean, who doesn’t know what they like? By adulthood you literally choose what to eat based on needs and wants. You’d think a person would notice what they like.
A few mornings ago however, I had a silly but startling realization. Apparently, I really love raspberries. However, if someone had asked me to list my favorite berries or fruits I doubt it would have ever occurred to me to add raspberries to the list.
Yet, I find that all but two of the teas I own have raspberries. I also realized that if given the option I’ll always choose raspberry jam over any other jam or jelly. I’m also rather partial to pink ice cream products like raspberry ice cream and Popsicles.
Somehow I had unconsciously declared that raspberries are a favorite of mine. Those who have lived with me would clearly see my love for raspberries. They most certainly would have assumed that I was aware of that affinity. But, I never knew consciously how my actions and behaviors pointed towards that reality.
This seems entirely silly for this realization to shake me as much as it did. I mean it’s just raspberries, it isn’t anything life changing. However, seeing the scope of my own self-ignorance shown to me completely freaked me out.
What other parts of me have I been completely unaware of? What do my behaviors show about my personhood that every one else would see but I remain blissfully ignorant of?
For me, that’s a pretty heavy concept and it challenges me to step outside myself and be a bit more objectively critical of my own behaviors.
These past months I kept hearing from myself and others a common refrain. It went something like this “How can (insert person or group here) honestly not see the damaging nature of (insert political affiliation, religious affiliation, and or pop culture group here)?
It seems everyone has a series of behavioral indictments for anyone outside of their worldview. But rarely do people find reasons to be critical of themselves.
So, I’m making an attempt here to step out of my own perception and have an honest evaluation of what I say my values are versus what my actions tell others what values I really do have. Let me tell you, this is pretty uncomfortable. No one wants to face things about themselves that are contrary to what we think we are.
This is the crux of a lot of the turmoil surrounding this years election. It’s why we are hearing people call out others for supporting misogyny, racism, and bigotry. It’s why we hear people calling out folks on what we see as clear hypocrisy. Whether it’s because some of us supported candidates with some uncomfortable scandals based on emails or it’s because some of us supported a candidate who “tells it like it is” by continuously fostering misogyny, racism, and bigotry.
The rift we feel is not about policy it’s about trying to reconcile the people we know and love with how their chosen voting habits do in fact support these unethical behaviors. The hurt and grief we have is based in the reality that these truly awful behaviors are somehow not deal breakers for those who casted their votes.
Don’t mishear me. I’m not calling out just one side of this divide. I’m calling every single one of us out, including myself.
My friends, we need new eyes to see with. We need new ears to hear with. We need new hearts to lead with. How do we do this? It starts with ourselves. Before we point the finger to others we must first examine what we are unknowingly saying about our own values.
It’s time to find our raspberries. I’m looking for mine. I hope you are looking too.