De-sensitized

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De-sensitised
Unknown Author

We become de-sensitised a little bit at a time. Some years ago, I walked
into my office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my
desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous person
who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of
paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began
eating the first brownie as I read the following story.

Two teenagers asked their father if they could go to the theater to watch a
movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the
movie on the Internet, he denied their request.

“Ah dad, why not?” they complained. “It’s rated PG-13, and we’re both older
than thirteen!”

Dad replied: “Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality as
being normal and acceptable behavior.” “But dad, those are just very small
parts of the movie! That’s what our friends who’ve seen it have told us. The
movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the
total film! It’s based on a true story and good triumphs over evil, and there
are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the movie
review websites say that!”

“My answer is ‘no,’ and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay
home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good
videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film.
End of discussion.”

The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on
the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their
father preparing something in the kitchen. They soon recognised the
wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the
other, “Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he’s going to try to make it up
to us with some fresh brownies.
Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us
and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all.”

About that time I began eating the second brownie from the sandwich bag and
wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was eating and the
brownies in the story. I kept reading.

The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of
warm brownies, which he offered to his kids. They each took one. Then
their father said, “Before you eat, I want to tell you something: “I love you
both so much.” The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad
was softening. “That is why I’ve made these brownies with the very best
ingredients. I’ve made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even
organic; the best organic flour, the best free-range eggs, the best organic
sugar, premium vanilla and chocolate.” The brownies looked mouth-watering, and
the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad’s long speech.

“But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I
added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own
back yard. But you needn’t worry, because I only added the tiniest bit of
that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically
insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think.

“Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before we
eat?”

“Why? The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won’t
even taste it.”
“Come on, dad; just tell us what that ingredient is.”

“Don’t worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients. ”

“Dad!!!”

“Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is organic…dog poop.”

I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it out into the
waste basket by my desk. I continued reading, now fearful of the paragraphs
that still remained.

Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began
inspecting their fingers with horror.

“DAD! Why did you do that? You’ve tortured us by making us smell those
brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you added dog
poop! We can’t eat these brownies!”

“Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the
ingredients. It won’t hurt you. It’s been cooked right along with the
other ingredients. You won’t even taste it. It has the same consistency as the
brownies. Go ahead and eat!”

“No, Dad…NEVER! ”

“And that is the same reason I won’t allow you to go watch that movie. You
won’t tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you
tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will not lead us unto
temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with
something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into
temptation long after we first see it?”

I discarded what remained of the second brownie, as well as the entire
untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute ago had become
detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was eating was
slightly polluted. (Surely it wasn’t… but I couldn’t convince myself.)

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15 responses »

  1. Great Anaolgy.

    But honestly who leaves a long a$$ story like that with free cookies? I probably would have ate the cookies and read the story a month later

  2. what a nice little story to start the day. I’d have given the cookies back to the dog

  3. It’s bull… What man bakes brownies from scratch? Really…

    Actually, I take a completely different approach to parenting. The problem with idealism is that it can easily evolve into fanaticism. I raise my boys as if I may not always be there to protect them from the ‘real’ world.
    Sheltering a child does more harm than good. I would go with them to see the movie, and afterwards, we would discuss it, so that I could evaluate their opinion of the ‘immoral’ themes. Then I could better help them understand the difference between what they witness, and what is acceptable.
    This is the whole concept behind “Parental Guidance – 13”, it does not mean that you should disallow a twelve year old from watching the movie, or allow a thirteen year old to watch it on their own… It means you must understand that the average 13 year old has probably been exposed to, or is curious about the main themes [on some level] and that it is your duty as a parent to ‘guide’ them to an understanding of what they are seeing. As a parent, it is not your duty to produce perfect carbon copies of yourself, but to provide your children with a realistic comprehension of the world around them and how best to deal with it and fit into it as a capable adult.
    Just because one sees someone eating dog-poop brownies, does not mean one has to follow suite.

  4. being the right choice or not.. I think it was a marvelous analogy. I definitely get what Trouble saying still. sometimes you need the exposure just to know whats out there, you can then understand why you shouldn’t indulge in certain things. Ignorance wont bring salvation.. Knowledge of things can help you deal with “things” in a better matter though.

  5. Sheltering tends to breed a lot of rebellion..the trick is providing the tools so you can function in the real world

  6. True, true.

    Hey CD, how’s the little one and the unborn one coming along?

  7. OMG! A girl! Cool, balance things out, yeah! Only 3 months to go. And then more maternity leave – remember now, that strategy for staying off work not sustainable yu know, hehe. They’ll grow up together. Quite nice.

    Man, your hands will be kept full.

  8. Cool… agirl. Hope all goes well. Just passing through and enjoying the read. I can see with the story. Not so sure about methods though. That could scar a chocolate lover for life.

  9. It’s amazing what people will put in a brownie, or any other food item for that matter. Food is taken for granted in the western world and therefore overlooked. Take it from a secret agent, I know all about this.

  10. the on-the-way one and the little man keeping har busy.

    Well, no worries, we’ll be here when you check in.

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