I drank a Diet Coke yesterday for the first time in a couple of years.
I immediately regretted it. Why?
I gave up soda years ago as I read more and more about its destructive and addictive influence. When you’re drinking it frequently, you come to believe it tastes really good. When you try it again after quitting, well… to me, it tasted like battery acid with corn syrup for flavor.
Why did I give it up? Here’s a concise summary of the reasons.
I have friends who drink a lot of the stuff, just as I used to do. Sometimes, they’ll go through a liter bottle in a day. They’ll rarely sit through a movie without the largest size soda they can buy. But these same folks will shake their heads over the plight of people who are addicted to drugs or hurting themselves in other ways.
This worries me.
But at the same time, there’s another lesson here, for me specifically: What else am I doing on a daily basis that has similarly destructive effects? What is breaking me down, little by little, almost imperceptibly? What are other people hoping I’ll wake up and realize?
I want to know.
Because it would be foolish of me to get all high and mighty about soda, or drugs, or pornography, or sexual misbehavior, or shoplifting, or any destructive behavior, when I know that I’m probably telling myself little lies about something in my life in order to justify similar folly.
And now… a scene from a film I’ve never seen. Can you name that movie?
Michael: I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.
Sam: Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.
Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?