Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Are We All So Dang Different?

You know what’s weird? We’re all so dang different. I mean really different! Some things I might LOVE you might HATE! Why is that? How come we’re not all the same?

Some of us see a black man trying to get into his home might think he is really trying to break in? On the other hand, some of us, when confronted by police, might automatically assume we’re not going to be treated fairly. More importantly, why would anyone invited for a beer at the White House think that serving Bud Light is a good idea?

It seems like we should all be a lot more similar than we are. Think about it – in every area of our lives, you’re different from me, from your co-workers, friends, family. No one you know is exactly like you. You are you and I am, well, maybe not me, exactly, but a reasonable facsimile anyway.

Let’s just take a look at some every day examples . . .


FOOD & DRINK

I LOVE beer! All different types of beer – as long as it’s not your cheap, run of the mill PBR kinda stuff anyway. On the other hand, there are tons of other people who love beer who only like the kinds of stuff that I think is crap – like your cheap, run of the mill, PBR kinda crap. For heaven’s sake, the President likes Bud Light! What is wrong with him? And then there are tons of people who don’t like beer at all – my ex-wife, for instance. And there are a whole other host of folks who may or may not like beer but think it’s wrong to drink it.

I LOVE seafood! Crab, salmon, shrimp, calamari and pretty much any fish that’s used in sushi. On the other hand, there are tons of people who hate seafood of any kind. Or maybe just shellfish. Some follow the dictates of Leviticus 11:10 that says, “But you must never eat animals from the sea or from rivers that do not have both fins and scales. They are detestable to you. This applies both to little creatures that live in shallow water and to all creatures that live in deep water.” I don’t care. I’ll eat it all. Except oysters. They’re too dang slimy.

I LIKE chocolate. I don’t love it. I just like it. It’s good in small doses. I like truffles from Euphoria Chocolate, Rocky Road Ice Cream, chocolate covered cranberries from Trader Joes – but in relatively small doses. On the other hand, there are people like my Mom who wouldn’t trust someone who doesn’t like chocolate.


SPORTS

I LOVE basketball! But only college and high school basketball. I hate the NBA. Haven’t watched a game in years – an entire game anyway. Other than Lebron, Shaq and some jerks like Kobe, I don’t know all that many NBA players. And could care less about them. On the other hand, everywhere you go you see people with authentic NBA jerseys walking around. And I just can’t understand anyone who is a Lakers fan. What is wrong with those people? (Sorry Bryant!)

I LOVE baseball! There are few things more enjoyable than sitting in a major league ballpark, drinking a $9.00 beer and watching a baseball game. A few years ago, Jake, Jeremy and I went on a baseball road trip – six games in seven days, or something like that. I had a blast. I kept saying, “I sure wish someone would pay me to just go to baseball games!” On the other hand, there are people like Jeremy, who think baseball is for fat kids and that it’s painfully boring. Although, he is willing to go to games as long as I pay for ‘em.

I HATE non-sport sports. Pseudo-sports like gymnastics, or ice skating or synchronized swimming. Anything where the result comes from a rating is not a sport! As much as I might like watching things like the X-Games, most of that stuff isn’t a real sport cuz it’s judged rather than a winner being determined objectively by who was fastest, or scored the most points, etc. On the other hand, there are people who love those types of competitions – not to mention fringe sports like billiards or motocross or demolition derbies.


ENTERTAINMENT

I LOVE Jonny Quest! I think this is the best cartoon show ever made. On the other hand, other people love The Simpsons, or Family Guy, or King of the Hill, or Bugs Bunny or, heaven forbid, The Smurfs!

I LOVE music! All types of music. Jazz, hip-hop, rock, country, gospel. On the other hand, I really don’t like much in the way of pop music, which is most of what makes it onto the Top 40 these days. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Sean Kingston, Taylor Swift – count me out.

I LOVE concerts! Some of my favorite memories are from concerts I’ve been too. U2, John Mayer, The John Butler Trio, The Doobie Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Fleetwood Mac, Sting, Ben Harper, Beck, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck . . . On the other hand, I wouldn’t be caught dead at a Celine Dion or Neil Diamond concert.

I HATE (most) outdoor festivals and fairs. Big crowds, hot weather, bad food, blecch! While I do like a good beer festival and while I might go to the Oregon Country Fair sometime, just to say I’ve been, most things like this do not appeal to me. (Especially if it has the word “Faeiries” in the title somewhere.) On the other hand, some people LOVE this kinda thing. And just a little travel tip for ya, don’t go anywhere near Sisters during the annual Quilt Festival!


PERSONAL LIFE

I HATE getting up in the morning! I’d sleep until noon, if I could. (Based on my increasingly late arrival times, most of my coworkers assume that I do, actually.) On the other hand, there are people like Sandy, Sue and Jenny, who LOVE to get up early. They set their alarms to get up at 5:00 or 5:30. (We’re talking about AM, not PM here.) They say they like the quiet of the early morning and the chance to get some things done before the work day starts. What is wrong with these people?

I HATE getting ready for the day! All the morning rituals like showering, shaving, brushing my teeth, etc. What a waste of time. I could be reading OR watching Jonny Quest! On the other hand, I saw an episode of Obsessed about a woman spends 30 minutes cleaning her teeth after every meal. That’s crazy! I brush my teeth, of course – and do all the rest of it - but mostly because I don’t want to offend the people I encounter any more than I already do. Other than that, who knows how long I might go before deciding that maybe I should shower because the brown tone of my skin might not all be due to being in the sun.


PERSONAL BELIEFS

I LOVE talking about spiritual things like faith or people’s personal beliefs! I won’t evangelize here but my faith is pretty dang important to me and there are few things that pique my interest more than having a good healthy discussion about God and faith and theology. The nature and type of relationship God wants with us is endlessly fascinating, as are the beliefs of others whose spiritual background is different from mine. OR who don’t believe God exists at all. OR who believe there may be something else out there but that we can’t really be sure what it is. My own background is pretty traditionally Christian and I have had some pretty dang remarkable spiritual experiences myself that have just blown me away. On the other hand, I’m always interested in hearing about other’s experiences, no matter how weird or freaky they might at first seem to me.

I HATE church. I have faithfully gone to church on an almost weekly basis, for my entire life. Well, except for the last three years, when I have only gone to church a handful of times. (And I mean no more than you could count on your fingers. Of one hand.) Most of the time I am bored by the whole singing / worship thing. Only one song in ten seems interesting and for too many people the whole worship things seems more like a performance thing to me. Not to mention that any church service that runs more than one hour, Satan is probably involved – because Jesus would never go to church for more than one hour! Or on Wednesdays. I know that “church” is a lot more than just that once a week worship service but if I could find a church where you go in, listen to a thought provoking sermon and are out of there in a half hour or less, I’d sign up. On the other hand, there are tons of folks, from a variety of spiritual backgrounds, who LOVE to spend hours and hours in services of one kind or another at their church, synagogue, mosque, etc. I don’t get it but more power to ‘em, I guess.


I could go on (but I already have, so no need to go further) but let me just add one thing. While it really does strike me as strange that we’re not a lot more homogenous, in the end it is very cool. I have learned a TON from others who see or like things differently than I do. I would probably have never eaten asparagus, or discovered jazz or read Lonesome Dove, if it hadn’t been for someone else who made me look at things a bit differently. Not to mention that I probably wouldn’t be a liberal, beer-drinking, ex-Mormon, prejudice-hating, evangelical, if a few other people hadn’t been a part of my life to help me see things a bit differently than I would have otherwise. Life is kinda weird that way.

On the other hand, I think I became a banker totally by accident.
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