We, as human beings, love things that are 'bad' for us. We gravitate towards that which, in excess, could harm us. Why we do this? I'm not entirely sure. Though I am sure there is an anthropologist somewhere who could break it all down to a science. If you asked my 3rd grade sunday school self, it is because man is 'fallen' and 'sinful'; if you ask my more liberal, modern self it is because man kind is overwhelmed with the desire to live, connect, and experience everything immediately. This issue is massive and while I would love to unpack the philosophical matters of what drives people towards 'destructive behavior' I will refrain (for the time being) because today, I want to talk to you about FAT (False asshole 'truths'... yes I made that up); the abstract things which are killing us all.
When you think about fat you probably think about junk food, bbw conferences, and that vein of chewy white marbled through your steak... I am not here to talk to you about that kind of fat (also, let it be known, fat doesn't make you fat... sugar, processed food and nutrient void foods make you fat, but that too is a topic for another day); instead I want to talk to you about how gossip and toxic language dress up as beautiful, yummy, fluffy, fatty morsels of temptation... kind of like a doughnut. Sweet and beautiful balls of bliss which over time clog our arteries and give us diabetes (bleak and harsh, sorry guys).
Gossip is like the most delicious doughnut you have ever bitten into. It is sweet on the tongue, tempting, and upon consumption, it is (almost always) regrettable. Allow me to explain.
Have you ever held in your possession a story about someone? You may not know if it is true, but you heard it somewhere and for all you know the 'facts' are correct (why bother checking right?). One day you are out with a group of friends who are chatting along about 'how they heard so and so did such and such' and instead of staying out of it or speaking up to change the direction of the conversation, you join in with enthusiasm, "well" you say, "I heard that..." ...you enter the doughnut shop, pick out a glazed piece of heaven and bite into fleeting doughnut happiness, savor the sweet of the moment and ignore the voice of fear reminding you of the pain which will come later.
Why do it then? Because we can't seem to help ourselves. The promise of immediate (surface level) connection to those around us seems far greater than the (deep) hurt it may cause. The stomachache (as it were) is delayed, the pleasure is immediate. Not to mention the hurt you are causing someone (another human being!) and the pressure it places on your heart. Being around, participating in, gossip and toxic language can cause some serious heart damage. We loose bits of our humanity in order to feel (appear) superior or knowledgeable; it is easy to crucify someone else so that you may be seen as 'better than', it is far more difficult to remain humble and whole.
The temptation of fatty foods is that they taste good and give us instant pleasure. We order a $5 hot n' ready pizza so we don't have to wait for something which will take twice as long and cost three times as much, even if we know waiting would be better in the long run. We settle for the immediate connection which is fleeting, shallow, and ultimately dissatisfying instead of looking out into the great space of time which lies ahead, being quiet, patient, hopeful, and building a more valuable relationship which will last.
Doughnuts are a tempting mistress, they speak to the very core of our beings, telling us they are all we desire (and more)... and yet, after consuming their sugary shells, we realize they are empty and an hour later we are hungry for more.
*image of the insanely amazing looking doughnuts is from Adventures in Cooking
**Also, please note this is a metaphor I love (the idea of) doughnuts as a treat every now and again