Saturday, June 25, 2011
Why I Like Sweet Potatoes
But when I was a kid, I fucking hated sweet potatoes. The whole thing just seemed asinine, because why the fuck would I want my potatoes to be sweet? Potatoes, to a young child, are supposed to be all about savory tastes. Add some sour cream and butter, maybe some garlic and chives. Give me an onion-like taste, but not sweet. Don't put cinnamon in my fucking potatoes. Why the shit would I put sugar on it?
Now that I look back on it all, I can't even remember if at any point I actually tried a sweet potato when I was a kid. I think that the idea so disgusted me, the notion that someone could actually fuck with the consistency of something that I perceived to have been already perfected was ludicrous. So literally, up until about age 25 or so, which was about 2 years ago, I thought that I hated sweet potatoes.
My grandmother seems to always make a sweet potato casserole for damn near any family get-together, and a couple of years ago I finally said "fuck it," (quietly to myself, as I am not nearly as foul mouthed around my family) and tried her sweet potato casserole. Well, I'm glad I did, because it was like my tongue had an orgasm. It was *so*fucking*good* that I couldn't believe I spent all these years not eating it. My preconceptions, irrational and ridiculous, about how a potatoes should taste were completely dashed.
On my article about sex addiction, KP made an excellent observation about the human brain and what it is capable of doing. I mentioned that when I first heard about sex addiction, my instincts told me that it was a load of bullshit that people shit out in order to not have to take responsibility for being douche bags. But knowing what I knew about the human brain, and the varied and fucked up compulsions it can cause us to have, I had to reconcile what I knew to be true with what I felt inside.
KP said that he thought it was admirable how I always question things, whether it be myself or others, and that my ability to reason comes from my spirituality, and in part from my intelligence and humility. It's funny how often someone else teaches us something about ourselves.
My spirituality is a bit different from many people--probably different from most people--in that it's truly about faith and hope. I'm not the type of person that has any sort of comfort on the notion of God and the afterlife. Neither faith nor hope have anything to do with knowing, and in fact, both of them assume that you can't know. I can't know whether or not God exists, but I have some degree of faith that God has given us many clues that he does exist. And I also hope that my reasoning is correct on it all, and that there is more to existence than just this life. I doubt my ability to understand the unknowable, and I doubt the ability of others to do the same.
So if I can understand that there are some things that no one can know for sure, then there must be other things that I can't be certain on. I can't always be right. Knowing that there is at least one question that I will never be able to answer with any complete certainty, I have to admit that there are other questions to which I have not the answer. So I am one of those rare people that assume that I am probably wrong on most things that I hold to be true.
As far as intellect goes, it's true that I'm a smart guy, as arrogant as that might sound. I graduated summa cum laude from college without so much as breaking a sweat (intellectually), and my professors were tough on me, because they knew I needed extra challenge. But true intellect comes from one's ability to question. Because once you question yourself and others, you're forced to consider arguments that oppose your own sentiments. When you've done that long enough, you then realize that your brain has its limits.
And that brings us to humility. I'm humble enough to admit when I'm wrong, and to admit that I know there are people out there who are far more knowledgeable than myself on every subject. I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, and I'm not afraid to change my philosophical outlook on something. It's only been in the last few months that I've come to the realization that I'm pro-choice, and that the death penalty is probably immoral.
So for those of you who think I am just like any other pundit out there, that I've got my ideological guns that I stick to whether or not I think they're valid, then please banish that thought from your minds. I've changed my mind too much over the years and endured too much philosophical discomfort to be called closed-minded. In fact, I still feel like shit over being pro-choice.
To quote the great Albert Camus again "certainty is not gaiety of heart."