Brilliant Miller's Blog
The Cheeseburger that Changed my Worldview Forever
Middle school health class opened my eyes about so many things.
And although the lessons about puberty, maturation and the human reproductive system permanently expanded my mind, it was a lesson about nutrition that truly changed the way I look at the world.
In one class, our teacher pointed out that although every human body needs the same nutrients—water, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals—HOW we get those nutrients is less important than that we DO get them.
The specific example that stayed with me is that of a cheeseburger for breakfast.
Our teacher pointed out that many people eat eggs and toast for breakfast to get protein and carbs, but there’s absolutely no reason you can’t eat a cheeseburger and get essentially the same thing.
Or even a burrito. (From that day forward, I’ve had a lot of bean and cheese burritos for breakfast.)
That lesson caused me to think more critically and curiously not only about what I eat and when, but about what else I might be doing (or not doing) for the sake of social normalcy.
Going to church on Sundays. Engaging in wanton consumerism just because it’s the holidays. Throwing things in the garbage can because the trash gets picked up on Mondays. Staying in high school and getting a diploma. Getting married and having kids. Getting a 9-to-5 job.
You get the idea.
It can be pretty amusing—and sometimes saddening—to scrutinize the social agreements and cultural constraints inside which we live.
And it can be liberating (and more than a tad scary) to remember that you can change your life in an instant with a single decision.
Wear a dress. Don’t wear a dress. Drop out of school. Go to school. Change your major. Change your career. Be a vegetarian. Be a carnivore. Paint your fingernails, pierce your ears, be monogamous, change your religion—or don’t.
It’s been suggested that our lives begin to end the day we’re silent about things that matter.
I think we die a bit every time we let an opportunity for self-expression pass because we’re afraid of what someone else might think.
For just about every behavior, there’s a social group for whom that’s what’s expected, and there’s a different social group for whom that’s what’s shunned.
No matter what you do, you will never please everyone. The good news is that you don’t have to.
Find people who love and accept you no matter what. Be that kind of person for others.
And if you want to eat a cheeseburger for breakfast, go for it.
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