It used to be acceptable to hit your children. It was okay for men to pinch random women’s fannies. It was tolerable to do more than pinch in some circles. And clearly many still believe this is okay. Nevertheless, it seems that in many ways we are becoming more humane and more human.
Personal assault has always been frowned upon and – thankfully – is newly deemed unacceptable. That’s a good thing for everyone both theologically and sociologically. But – fifty years from now, what will we consider unacceptable which is now considered okay?
Some friends and I were discussing this recently and we came up with two things: sugar and football. Thanksgivings in the future may never be the same.
As I take a break from pie-baking to write this, it occurs to me that I’ve used several pounds of sugar and a bottle of Karo Syrup before most people are awake this morning. I’ve also used over a pound of butter, for what it’s worth.
One of my grandmothers purportedly filled her children with sugary baked goods in hopes that they would choose the sugar in cake to the sugar in alcohol. This was a real thing: it was once (and maybe is now) believed that if we satisfy our sugar cravings with cookies we will not reach for the bourbon. It’s hard to imagine “being as American as roasted beets” rather than “being as American as Apple Pie” but maybe that’s our future.
And as a person who’s lost at least one friend to a football-related brain injury, I wonder when we will stop loving a sport that involves crashing heads into each other. Someone told me that professional players experience what amounts to multiple head-on car crashes with each game.
Maybe we’ll find a healthier option to sugar. Maybe someone will create an even safer helmet. But mostly, I’m thankful this week that we continue to learn new ways to be better/healthier/more faithful human beings.
What do you think we will have given up in fifty years after realizing it isn’t good for our bodies or our souls?