Earlier this week Aaron and I went to QT after scouts. We each got a fountain drink. Aaron asked me,
“What’s the deal with diet drinks?”
I got a little bit of a chuckle out of the question and told him that he needed to ask his mother that same question when she gets home. I then gave him a brief description of what her response would be. So last night we were walking around Ikea and Aaron pops the same question on Victoria,
“What’s the deal with diet drinks?”
Victoria went on complete autopilot and pulled out her prepared statement on why she dislikes diet drinks and read every point to Aaron, line by line. I’ve heard her diatribe about diet drinks several time. She didn’t miss a beat and hit every major point that I told Aaron she’d hit. At this point Aaron and I are just rolling and Victoria is just looking around confused, wondering what is so funny. We confessed that the previous few minutes were planned ahead of time and that she had played her part better than if we had handed her a script.
Last year I was in an online discussion and the subject came up that “the Mormon Church controls the Boy Scouts of America”. Like Victoria, and probably everybody else, I too have a cache of prepared diatribes that I pull out whenever certain subjects come up. I too went on autopilot and proceeded to state my reasons, and evidence that the Mormon Church does not control the Boy Scouts of America. I’d given the speech a few times before so I thought I knew what I was talking about. Over the course of the discussion it was shown that a couple of my facts were out of date. Specifically, I had made the claim that Thomas S. Monson was the only LDS member of the leadership committee of BSA. I was shown that although it used to be true there was at least one other member of the committee who was LDS. My prepared speech was out of date. The gist of it was still correct and I still stand by my initial claim, but my supporting details need to be updated. So I did a little more research to see what else had changed.
For the record I agree with Victoria’s assessment of diet drinks and I don’t know if any of her supporting facts have changed in the last few years. Both of us routinely just order ice water with a little bit of lime rather than ingest the artificial sweeteners in most diet drinks.
My only point in sharing these two stories is that they have given me pause for reflection. How many prepared speeches do we have cached away ready to give at a moment's notice? I’m sure we all have quite a few. Are the facts up to date? When was the last time you verified them? Have you given the issue an honest re-evaluation or are you still basing your opinions on the way things were when you first formed that opinion? Perhaps it’s time to pull out those speeches and give them a second look. If, after careful evaluation, you still feel the same and the facts still support your position, Great! If, on the other hand, things have changed the other direction does that effect your opinion on the issue? I just think that it’s healthy to periodically question our beliefs, especially those that we cherish the most.
Victoria is dead right about diet drinks. Most of them are rather nasty and unpalatable. I’ve become a little more tolerant of Sprite Zero lately but I still prefer just ice water with a little bit of lime. If you want to really have some fun with Victoria start talking about how you really love dark meat chicken. Incidentally I agree with her on that one too. She’s just got a better diatribe than I do.
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