I often wonder about the reason people do some of the things we do.

Here’s an allegory:

My wife told me a story about a woman who always cut her ham in half before cooking it for Thanksgiving because her aunti had cooked it that way.  One day the woman asked her aunti, “Why do you cut your ham in half before you cook it?” and her aunti answered, “Because my mother cooked it that way.”  She then sent an email to her aunti’s mother, the woman’s grandmother, asking her, “Why do you cut your ham in half before you cook it?” and in her grandmother’s reply she answered, “Because my mother cooked it that way.”  The woman then called her great-grandmother – the old gal was still kickin’ hard, plus she’d had the same phone number since WWI.  The woman asked her, “Why do you cut your ham in half before you cook it?” and she answered, “Because my mother cooked it that way in the baking pan she eventually gave me on my wedding day.  That pan wasn’t long enough to fit a whole one, so we’d had to cut the ham in half to make it fit. I still have the pan, but I don’t cook hams anymore.”  Upon hearing the news, the women decided that they didn’t really need to continue cutting their hams in half.  The woman’s great-grandmother has now been known to cook whole hams whenever she gets the chance … she even gives them out to family during the holidays.

What this fun little tale is supposed to illustrate, other than the validity of the longevity gene in that lady’s family, is that folks often continue to do the oddest things for the oddest reasons.  While this scenario created only a couple of generations of substandard holiday hams, it could easily have affected something more important, like democracy, or NASCAR, or sexism, or racism, or prostitution, or greed, or injustice, or laziness, or violence, or just plain old stupidity.  Because of some of the skewed ideas we’ve been told all of our lives, there is a good chance that there are folks suffering out there for no damn reason.

We are all partly a product of our experiences.  How many childhood myths like the ‘bogeyman’ do you still believe in; even just a little?

How about prejudices?

How about. ?

How about compassion?

How about selflessness?

When it comes to such positive aspects of our existence, you gotta wonder why we bother doing anything selfless at all.  There is no tangible purpose to helping others, especially if there is no personal gain involved.  Is there a reason we do this?  Or is it just in our DNA to look after the species?  Let us know what you think.

We could really use more contributions, so please click on the “Posts” page to read some of the posts, then shoot over some feedback.  Let’s knock around some stories, ideas, and useful discussions, then maybe we can straighten a few things out.


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