Sometimes being selfish can be sensible

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2005

I saw an interesting survey the other day, which was geared toward putting people into an interesting dilemma. It asked people to consider being given the choice of giving up one of their five senses and formulating an argument as to why they felt they could live the rest of their lives without that particular sense.

It seemed like fun so I decided to give it a whirl. What I found was that I was a selfish person who could nit live without any of them.

At first I decided on taste. My argument for giving up this sense was that without a sense of taste there would be no foods that I wouldn’t like. Finally onions and mayonnaise would not be able to ruin a delicious meal. Without flavor you could basically eat any food at any time and not really care what it was.

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Unfortunately, this became my key argument against abandoning taste. Without taste I could no loner enjoy fried chicken, black-eyed peas or cornbread. Without the full enjoyment of these items I could see no reason to continue living so taste was suddenly out of the mix.

Next on the list came the sense of touch. It wasn’t because I felt this sense was unimportant, I just wasn’t quite ready to sacrifice my sense of smell, hearing or sight. I figured I would much rather give up touch than any of the other senses I enjoy.

Again, this sense was quickly discarded from the list. Without touch there would be no one to scratch our Blue Heelers belly or scratch between his ears, which would make his life miserable. Since I strive to make all God’s creatures as happy as I am I decided it was my duty to the good of nature to hang on to the sense of touch.

So what was left? I figured if something hat to go it would be the sense of smell. Having grown up within a few miles of a paper mill I would have been more than ready to let this one go several years ago. I figured living without the sense of smell would be an easy one to sacrifice.

Wrong. Somewhere around declaring my sense of smell as being thrown to the scrap heap I walked away from the survey and felt my final decision had been made. Later in the day I decided to take a walk and wouldn’t you know it, someone was firing up a grill. I began to think about all the aromas that I would not be able to live without. No one loves the smell of a pine tree more than me and fresh baked pies, cookies, ect. There are too many pleasant odors to give up this sense completely so it was back to the drawing board.

The next choice was obvious. There was no way I was giving up my sense of sight so hearing had to go. There have been several times at night where I have heard the horrible noise of the street sweeper come through town and had no choice but to start my day before the sun appeared. At long last my problems would be solved and I could keep decent hours.

This argument did not hold up for very long. I quickly remembered that I could solve this problem by no longer falling asleep on the couch. From my bedroom, you can’t hear the street sweeper and a peaceful night of rest is only a few yards away.

With that there was only one sense left…the sense of sight. Forget about it. No sense of sight, no more fun at Alabama football games (shut up Auburn fans). This would also make Braves baseball a lot more difficult to follow and eliminate my Sunday afternoon drives. At this point I declared the survey over and its creators to be complete idiots.

I envy anyone who can make a sound rational decision on what sense they would give up. I never finished the survey so I didn’t discover what the true point of it was. In some ridiculous way the sense you gave up had something to do with how generous you were. I am not exactly sure which sense made you the most generous and to be honest, I don’t care. If wanting to have all five senses intact makes me selfish, I hope I am selfish for a long time.