Friday, March 16, 2007

The Tao of No More

I have a stepson who is overweight in a family of slender people. Some people might be able to argue that their obesity is due to physical deficiencies, but he merely eats much, much more than he should. He's old enough to make that choice now, so I try not to be judgmental about the food he chooses to partake of and the exercise he chooses not to.

Here's what I feel judgmental about: at family dinners, if there are seven people and nine pieces of chicken, he'll do the math and take the two extra pieces. He just assumes that he needs two or three times as much food as the person sitting next to him. I'm a big guy; I won't be satisfied with one itty-bitty piece of chicken.

We are not so poor that I must count every piece of chicken, but it bothers me that he thinks he is entitled to taking more than his share. Bloated to the point of unhealth from excessive consumption, his instinct is not to take less but to demand even more. You can tell he is an American; isn't that what our society is all about? We overconsume fuel and see the expense as a need to drill into any area that might provide even more. Dollar menu, anyone? We know enough about trade deficit and third world labor conditions to be disturbed when the plastic piece of crap in our carts is made in China, but we won't put it back. If anything, we'll add a few more, because its such a great bargain, made after all by small children earning pennies a day. We take more than our share, then blame the results on our politicians. Sure they're bought by corporations. So are you. So are we all, until we step back and say no more.

Say it with me: No more. No more.