Are you Absorbing the Marinade? – This is one of my shorter Ramblings, in part because brevity can be a great tool for setting the stage for a more meaningful discussion; a primary objective (and, I hope, outcome) of my Ramblings.
One of my all-time favorite snacks is CHEX MIX, you know that breakfast cereal of Cheerios, Corn and Wheat Chex, pretzels, and peanuts, all covered in a buttery, salty concoction and baked to crispy perfection! It’s always been a favorite.
Not all the individual cereals are my favorite. However, each adds to the love for the totality of the treat, each adds its own unique value. Each has it owns texture, taste, and ability to absorb the buttery marinade. Without absorbing the marinade you would lose much of the value of this deaconate snack. In essence, each unique ingredient adds significant value if the marinade is obsorbed!
As a kid, I remember picking and choosing what I wanted to eat first, last, and how I was going to navigate the snack. I remember that regardless of the order, I wanted more—of all aspects of the mixture. I recall taking the pretzel sticks and stringing Cheerios on them to make an interesting combination of taste, or eating only the wheat-or corn-flavored Chex in a single handful to get the full flavor of that singular ingredient, or saving the Cheerios for last as they seemed to have absorbed more of the buttery marinade than some of the other cereals.
I tried (unsuccessfully I may say!) to rationalize to my mom that this buttery, salty snack, made up of breakfast cereal, was a great breakfast and a healthy snack! Why not, it was cereal!
Regardless of the likes and dislikes of the individual ingredients, I loved the entire mix—the diversity of tastes and textures. The savory marinade that is absorbed in each of the cereal ingredients. This is much like life: I must admit I may not always appreciate the uniqueness of everyone around me, at least not at first. However, I have learned that first impressions are most often not correct and that getting to know someone’s heart and soul adds to my life; like the ingredients of Chex Mix. I need to absorb the marinade of the relationship to create a relationship that has the potential for significant value, something that I did not do well in the past, or at least not in a transparent manner.
I cannot imagine a Chex Mix with only one ingredient or without the marinade. I cannot imagine a life that did not have diversity, as it adds so much to life whether it’s friends, opinions, perspective, personalities, cultures, nationalities, or political beliefs.
- Add interest and depth
- Add to and broaden perspectives
- Solidify (or possibly alter) my own beliefs through respectful challenge
As with my Chex Mix, one element is always constant: Each ingredient may be very different, however each are good for what the value they add.
On the value of diversity, I’d like to add this caveat: Not all diversity has value, or does it? For me, it all depends on the respectful nature diversity is handled. A worthy thought worth conversation for those who can be respectful and maintain civility in the conversation and discussion of differing perspectives.
As I wrote in a recent Rambling; Gratitude & the Lost Art of Disagreeing
“. . . I am not implying that everyone has lost the ability to kindly express opinions and objections without being snarky or causing someone to feel they are “walking on egg shells.” Nor do I believe everyone has lost the ability to be thankful or filled with gratitude. What I am attempting to express is that far too often we fail to object and express a counter opinion in an agreeable fashion and to express and demonstrate thankfulness and gratitude. Sometimes we may go on the offensive, think we have “won” an argument or discussion, only to later discover we lost a great deal, perhaps even a relationship.”
Like Chex Mix, the value of the uniqueness of the ingredients in our lives is in large part impacted by our ability to appreciate with respectfulness, civility and gratitude, others’ perspectives (different than agreeing) as well as others’ appreciation , civility and respectfulness of our perspectives and the manner in which they are expressed. You know, absorb the marinade to the ingredients to compliment the unique characteristics of those around us.
Here’s to EMBRACING THE CHEX MIX OF LIFE and ABSORBING THE SIGNIFICANCE of the MARINADE!