Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pizza Paradigm

Life is short.

That's the tired bromide, the excuse to do stupid things, and the reason to make wise choices.

However, it seems like more and more every effort is directed towards making that statement untrue- and to mixed results.

There are absolutely good and justifiable reasons to take care of oneself. Quality of life is decidedly stultified by cigarette smoking, overeating, excessive drinking, etc. Even the most staunch of the practitioners of these vices would mournfully agree. And yes, taking care to select healthier food options is prudent.

But we have reached a stage of hysteria in our society that speaks to a broader issue.  We are fanatical about eating only the purest, cleanest foods; we want to be sure that our children only attend the best schools that espouse only the most politically correct opinions and that certainly make no attempt at quashing the little dears' dreams by allowing them to FAIL…at ANYTHING.

In short, we want to give the future generations the longest, most challenge-free lives possible.

On the surface, that sounds like a kind ideal. But dig deeper. The history books are filled with stories of great men and women, great events, great discoveries, and none of them were made without adversity- without risk.

With the advent of the "life highlight reel" that is social media, we've created a culture of perfection. Mistakes are quickly and roundly condemned, and retribution is fierce. When the consequences of failure are so public and so severe, people are more likely to 'play it safe'. And nothing that ever was accomplished on a grand scale was done by doing so.

Now, back to my original point- I shall choose pizza as the basis of my metaphor (because what's better than pizza?? Exactly.)

Is eating a pizza going to change the planet? No, although it might make you shaped more like it. But it's the spirit behind it that I am considering.

Here's the upshot: (And of course replace 'pizza' with anything you LOVE)

Eating a whole pizza every day              Eating a slice to two                 Eating none ever 
     IRRESPONSIBLE                                 LIVING                                      FEAR

If you're still with me at this point (or if you're on the phone with Papa John's), I'd say think about where you live in the Pizza Paradigm.

From the food we eat to the choices we make, a little risk and a little moderation are wise. But no risk at all leads to fear-based inertia, and it spells the downfall of society. The answers to the new challenges arising everyday lie outside the box, if only we are brave enough to leave the safety of its walls.

So go ahead. Just for today: Get the pepperoni.

Who knows where it will lead?


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