Wednesday, February 26, 2014
"The World is so Full of Such Wondrous Things..."
When I was in grade school, I learned to square dance, the American folk dance where the couples and groups of couples perform steps like dosey-do and promenade as they are announced by a "caller." It was fun. When I was in junior high I was taken to a symphony orchestra concert that featured singers doing the arias from "Carmen," and it was fun. I learned to bowl in high school, and it was fun. I've been to a heavy metal concert, I've seen an exhibition of Monet paintings, and I've seen and acted in live theater. I've shot guns, planted gardens and even earned a living by doing hard physical work, and it was all fun. OK, the hard physical work wasn't as much fun all of the time; The point is, I've tried lots of things and found something to enjoy in most of them. I try hard to not decide I don't like something before I have tried it.
Who is more foolish, someone who enjoys what we consider a foolish pastime, or someone who dismisses as foolish a pastime which they have never tried? The world is so full of things to try that we can never try them all. If we don't have enough of an open mind to give things a shot when they present themselves we may miss out on the best thing ever. If someone invites you to try curling don't decide not to go because "sliding rocks on ice is dumb." Enough people enjoy it to make curling an Olympic sport so there must be something to it.
Of course, common sense tells us not to try things that are stupidly dangerous; I'm not advocating playing in traffic because it might be a thrill. Bull riding and auto racing are probably best left to the pros and enjoyed as spectator sports. What I'm saying is that activities/experiences that you haven't yet tried should not be subject to "condemnation prior to investigation."
Everyone knows (and many of us have been) a child who is a picky eater. If you take them to a restaurant that doesn't have mac 'n cheese, you had better bring along a pbj. We laugh, but still we try to change them because we know they are missing out on some good things. Shrimp in lobster sauce sounds kinda weird, but as served at Jimmy Wong's restaurant in Chicago back when I was in my twenties, it was one of the most delicious things I ever ate. Taste all the things life offers. You will not like all of them, but you won't miss out on the good ones.