Food for our Minds and Spirits: Don’t Yuck Someone’s Yum

To me, these are not yummy. But that doesn’t mean they are yucky.

This principle has always stayed with me. And maybe it’s a strange one to bring up during a month where we focus on the theme of Love and are surrounded by the most emphatic, red-pink, Cupid-y version of love that we can imagine. But to me these things are closely related. And to me it comes down to candy hearts.

I don’t know why or how candy hearts came to exist. I’m sure there is a story, and I totally get and appreciate the idea of a little sweet that says something sweet (or most of the time it does!) But for the life of me, I don’t understand who would enjoy eating these. Slightly sweetened chalk is how I would describe the texture. The flavor is, to me, somehow too minty and not minty enough at the same time. In short –– I very much don’t like these. I do not find these yummy at all. And if candy should be anything, it should be yummy, right?

What I’ve learned is that some people really like these things! It turns out, my particular tastes are not everyone’s tastes, and much more importantly my feelings and experience are not those of everyone else! Some people like that texture, some people LOVE that flavor. If I think about my own experience and center my feelings, I want to give voice to disgust and revulsion: yuck! That’s gross! But if I learn from this experience and understand how others experience things differently, and if I don’t put my own reaction in the foreground, I don’t have to voice the “yuck!” Yuck does nothing for anyone, except harm. And I don’t have to yum with everyone else’s yums––its okay for me to find my yums elsewhere.

Yuck may be closer to our feelings of love than it seems at first, which is why it’s important to think about this month. If love is a radical acceptance and affirmation, yuck is a radical dismissal and denigration. As we think about the things we love this month and how we love them, let’s also think about how we yuck things. Maybe we can yuck less and love more.

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**


Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD