It is my opinion that we all struggle with prejudice of some sort. For me, prejudice starts with asparagus. I have never tasted asparagus. I have no intention of tasting asparagus. I decided that asparagus cannot be part of my life. In my mind, I have constructed a reality about asparagus, and it is simple – I don’t like it. I don’t really know that I don’t like it, since I have had no experience with asparagus, but my reality says, “I don’t like asparagus.” I have a lot of people that I respect in my life, but it does not matter to me which of them say, “You should try asparagus.” My reality is stronger than their experience. No!
As I think about it, I do not like spinach, brussel sprouts, or peas either. In that situation, I have had experience of being forced to interact with each of those vegetables. It was not a pretty outcome. I had decided ahead of time that I wouldn’t like them either, because they are green like asparagus. My choice of disdain was so deep that I prepared a gag reflex, drama at the supper table, and other tactics that made it appear to my parents that I had cooperated with their plan for me to eat vegetables. In fact, the peas were in my pocket to be flushed down the toilet at a later time, or I had convinced my brother Bill to eat them when no one was looking.
Now before you judge me about me judging green vegetables, I have my disclaimer ready. I do like green beans, so it isn’t like I don’t have any green vegetables in my life. You can’t accuse me when I have accepted green beans. Green beans are different than the others. They aren’t slimy or long and stalky looking. They are . . . well, they are green beans, and green beans are sort of a universal vegetable.
One vegetable we haven’t discussed is broccoli. I hated it as a kid. I didn’t really have to worry about it too much, because broccoli wasn’t presented all that often. As an adult, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I like broccoli. At first, I could eat it if it as mixed in with other stuff in a casserole. Eventually, I learned to like it just because of what it is on its own merit. In fact, to give myself some credit, I have expanded my previous small-minded thinking about green vegetables to include spinach from Boston Market and peas if they are in a casserole. Asparagus and I still have our differences, but I now recognize that the issue is within me and not actually the asparagus. Maybe one day, I will take a chance and let asparagus be part of my life.
Perhaps vegetables are a lot like people, and they merely deserve a chance so that we can see that having them as part of our world is not as bad as we thought. In fact, I hear that vegetables are good for us!