If I have to hear the word, “Gluten” in my house one more time, I’m going to scream.
Anyone who has known me for an extended amount of time knows that my relationship with my folks is for the most part civil. We have chosen different lifestyles that sometimes (more often than not) conflict, but we are still able to respect each other’s decisions within reason. One thing I am beginning to realize is their lack of critical thinking on a macro level.
I can bring up plenty of examples of some views my Dad has that have no logical (or even a shallow attempt at a logical) justification. I remember us having the military option talk when I was on my way out of high school. I’ll never forget when he blurted out,
Really? The entire military establishment? You’re against the use of a military as a whole? That may seem a little hippi-dippi. We all know there are evil people out there and that people should be protected. He can’t seem to make a connection between these two ideas and conclude that the military is a necessity in this day and age. What he is trying to say that he disagrees with joining the military as a viable career path. This view on the other hand is totally justified and he is entitled to this view just as much as the next person. Does he try and explain things this way? Absolutely not. Everyone has to do the work in figuring out what his ignorant thoughts mean.
The most recent episode of mental atrophy is due to my sisters recent “diagnosis” of celiac disease. I put the word diagnosis in quotes because i am very skeptical when the doctor concluded that this was her problem. She has had stomach issues tied to stress for over a year now, and things have gotten worse the past six months. The family as a working unit did as much as they could to attempt to address the issue. Long story short, they are under the impression that everyone’s favorite protein to avoid could be the problem. While I don’t completely disagree with this being the possible culprit. My anger, frustration, and embarrassment comes from their naivety towards the disease process.
I’m going to use diabetes as a comparison. I have yet to meet a diabetic who is unfamiliar with what is going on with their condition. I have confidence that the vast majority are able to explain the disease process to anyone that wishes to know. Celiac sufferers do not give me such confidence. I can imagine those with severe cases of celiac (those who have life threatening reactions to consumption of gluten) might be a little more inclined, but for the rest of the cases, I am ill-convinced. The same goes in my household. There isn’t a single person (not even the one who suffers from it!) that could explain what Gluten was before I explained it to them. Don’t even ask them how the disease process works. You’ll get an earful of pretentious, half-assed explanations that leave you more confused than when you started. The cherry on top of this naive mess is how they go down every food group in the kitchen to figure out whether something has gluten in it. Again, critical thinking is key.
Just last night when I was getting my meals ready for work, they must have dropped the G bomb more than twenty times. My dad loves to mention how he’s buying more food that my sister can eat and feels concerned since she is afraid to eat certain foods regardless of their nutritional content (due to a lack of critical thinking.) So the solution he comes up with is repetition. Maybe if I repeat all the things I bought, and remind her that they don’t contain this deadly protein, she might change her mind. This has been his solution to most ailments his kids have undergone so I can’t blame him entirely. You would think at age 47 you would realize that the same peg doesn’t fit in every hole.
Nonetheless he still tries, and while none of them bother to further educate themselves, they continue running around in the same circles as before she was diagnosed. When you see this all in action it can be quite amusing and humorous. Living with it on the other hand tends to lead to embarrassment, followed by and get, and concluded with an urge to leave the immediate vicinity. It’s like a group of hippi-dippi bleeding heart vegans but worst because they’re uneducated on the commitment.
As cynical as it may seem. It’s going to take a severe negative experience to get everyone to put some genuine effort to better themselves. That’s how it’s been since I came to be who I am today. We seem to learn best from huge mistakes. And if that’s what it takes, then come what may.