Prejudice and asparagus

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!

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About Dr. Kathy Williams

I am an adjunct faculty member at Harrison Business College. I am a full-time Chaplain in a men's correctional facility. I am the founder of New Day Community Ministries, Inc. and the most recent venture with New Day Consulting.
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