• Eric Dahl

You Can’t Hide Green Peas!

There are many things in this world and life that we don’t like. Early on as a young child I discovered mine was green peas. My mother, in an attempt to get me to eat healthy, would insert some type of green vegetable into every major meal we shared at the Pekin, Illinois Dahl house. Some of these involved asparagus, brussel sprouts and green peas. After failed attempts to feed these to my dog Snoopy under the table I was determined to come up with an alternative method. Since I was not allowed to have dessert until my plate was clean the only option was to take the disturbing green peas and systematically place them under the lip of my plate so they weren’t visible to my mother. On the upside, it worked and I did achieve dessert, on the downside I forgot she would need to lift the plate to wash it thus exposing my scheme and getting me sent to my room. In our current state of strong political feelings and emotions it is challenging to hide from either side of the extreme opinions. Whether you are at work, on social media, e-mail or even church everyone has strong heartfelt opinions on the country and politics. I was raised in a split house politically with my mother leaning one way and my father the other. This is probably the reason that I am bi-partisan and can’t fully align myself with either party. But, that being said and just as it was written in our constitution I do applaud everyone’s right to feel and vote the way they see fit, just as I believe in freedom of religious choice. The challenge I face is that I believe people are no longer respectful of other people’s opinions now and when they find someone that disagrees with their beliefs they get downright nasty. Some of the rhetoric I see posted on social media is appalling, when personally I only want to see fun pictures of friends on vacation, their pets, life events and their guitars. I don’t want to be subjected to harsh political statements for or against either side because they are usually copied and pasted and have no foundation in fact or legitimate sourcing. So much like green peas under the plate of a three-year-old, I hide the statements. I regret to say when I have friend requests now I look at their timeline to see what the ratio of political rants to guitars or kittens is. If it is predominantly political then I don’t accept the friendship. I believe that many people and organizations no longer seek to be “Civil” to others that don’t agree with their perception of right. To me being “Civil” means that even if I disagree with you that I will still be courteous and polite and I expect the same of others. You may personally believe that green peas are the sirloin tip steak of vegetables and if you hold this to be your truth and don’t force them on me I will be “Civil.” What has made America the great country it is are all of the different opinions, political beliefs and religions, but we are still one people. I still don’t care for green peas, but I can tolerate them in fried rice with enough soy sauce. And when my mother, wife or other family members try to force their food beliefs upon me I am still courteous and I still love them. My friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers and fellow church members all hold various political beliefs and sometimes become quite pushy and rant on or about others, but I am still “Civil” to them as well. Even though sometimes I find myself hiding their comments like green peas under a fiesta ware plate. Let’s all try to be more “Civil” to each other and I will make every effort to eat more vegetables even quinoa, which I continue to mispronounce but it tastes better with soy sauce too!

No actual vegetables were harmed in the writing of this blog.