Lately there have been a lot of blog topics on various groups of people. Politically you have your Liberals and Conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, Right Wing and Left Wing radicals. Socially there are men who like a good sense of humor or a large set of breasts, women who prefer intelligence or a man with money, and both sexes who enjoy a good set of buttocks. Some people are cat lovers, others are dog lovers and some just don't like animals at all. There just doesn't seem to be a nice melting pot of ideas any more like a good leftover stew. Even a good bouillabaisse or jambalaya would have a hard time finding a place on today's menu in the restaurant of "I'm this, you're that."
What I notice in all of these discussions is the practice of generalizing people into specific groups, politically, socially, sexually and intellectually. This text book way of rating people reminds me of the nature programs I watch where I learn about the mating and breeding habits of wildlife. I mean, we all know that giant turtles lay their eggs in the sand and then the little hatchlings dig their way out and scurry to the sea, hoping to avoid hungry predators. So if someone put you in a room with 100 other humans, are you bound to think, walk, talk and feel the same way as some of them? Maybe, maybe not.
This thought came to mind today as I wandered down the cereal aisle at the supermarket. So many choices, too little time. I started to wonder about all those different shapes & sizes and why General Mills, Kellogg's and Post offer such a wide variety. Oatmeal is very simple, that is, unless you start getting into all the different instant varieties. Quaker has names like Weight Control, Supreme, Lower Sugar and a new Crunchy oatmeal. I guess this new one is targeted for the multi-tasking crowd, since you are eating both oatmeal and regular cereal at the same time. Add some fruit and I bet you're really pushing the envelope. Then I saw a box that said “Nutrition For Women.” I guess that means it's not really good for men or, if eaten, they'll start retaining water every month. The “Take Heart” variety is supposed to be really good for your heart, so I guess the other oatmeal is full of crap that clogs your arteries.
Anyway, after noticing that in each box of cereal there are different shapes and sizes, some with sugar, nuts or little red berries and others with more fiber than eating carpet, I figured that the cereal people are onto something big. They realize that people enjoy variety and their tastes can run hot & cold, smooth & crunchy, and they often change their minds. In the cereal world, it's really okay to mix the nuts with the berries without starting a war or a revolution and nobody will call you a communist if you happen to slice a banana when you've got the urge. In fact, I think I'll skip the burger and brave a bowl of Crispix for dinner. Call me an iconoclast!