Yesterday I saw a blog from someone about food. It is interesting for me to see how people interact with the subject, given my situation. There are those who believe you should eat a certain way, and that is the right way, period.
That is one thing. Another is the expectations one may have around another doing things the same way they do.
Ever since I have found out the things I have about food, and products and the chemicals that are in them and affect them, it has altered how I do things. I have also shared with some about what I have learned. One day I met with someone who had ordered a smoothie with strawberries in it. When I looked at the menu, I had considered it, as it looked yummy. The thing, though, was that I had heard at one time that a really nasty pesticide is on any that aren't organic, and are grown in California - which most are.
I told him this, as a way of explaining my choice, but then apologized. Perhaps I shouldn't have spoiled it for him. He actually thanked me, as information like that is something that interests him to know. Going forward it sounded like it would potentially alter his choices.
In a different conversation with someone else, the topic of sweeteners came up. I shared what I knew about them, and provided some information to that person to review for himself. He didn't like what he read, and said he was going to stop drinking a soda that he had been drinking in great quantity.
Again, it would seem the info was welcome.
In both cases, I know what I think is best for me. At least what I think is best, given the best possible, available information. But questions remain. There are so-called experts on all sides of an issue that can make their case. How do we really know what is THE right one? I think it often depends on who you are talking to.
Because of the questions that I have, I tend to share and then shut up. I don't share in all cases, and in general I try to respect that a person may not want to know and/or may not care. And since I have no absolute certainty about anything, I leave it to the person to decide what, if anything, to do with what I tell him/her.
As I write this, I find myself wondering if I have aways approached things this way, or if it is my current level of awareness and sensitivity that has me handle things as I do. I think I often have had a "let live" kind of mentality in life, but I think it just has a different feel and a source/foundation that I didn't have before.
Have I judged the choices of others? Absolutely. Did I later see why they made the choices they did, or at least had a better understanding of what they may have been dealing with? There were definitely times that happened.
The blog I read spoke to the intolerance of some who "know" they are right about their food choices, and expect others to care in the same way. The conversation evolved around the current arguments about food.
I wonder, though, how many realized that it really wasn't a food conversation. In very much the same way, many of our disputes and conversations are not about what we think they are about, either. I often think about the dilemma we have when our opinions and beliefs are at odds with another, It is one thing to differ, but another thing to impose ourselves on another. Some people would say there are situations in which that is a requirement for us to mutually survive. And there are times they might be right.
But the thing is, there are many things that really don't require the input of others and their judgments - except for the fact that someone has tried to make, or has made, the case that a person's private choices can have an affect on others.
There are times I suspect we just have a need to feel like we are right about what we say, and if someone disagrees with us, we take it as a personal affront. There might be times when the ego just needs to be able to have its way - even if it steamrolls another in the process.
I realize as I feel that people should be given space to be themselves, it is the way I think right, or best. Is it? Of course, *I* think so. But the mileage of others may vary.
So. Who's right?
Well I am, of course. :P