This question, according to Martha Beck, is one of the ‘20 Questions That could Change Your Life.’(1) They came from a survey of women and Beck rephrased or amalgamated their main concerns to reach a top 20.
I like this question because it doesn’t have to refer to vegans (apologies to those readers who were suckered in by the title) the brackets can be wrapped around anyone who intrigues / annoys you.
For me it would be:
- Women who eat salad as a meal
- Anyone who exercises regularly
- Anyone who makes time to read for pleasure
- Anyone who sticks to the safe limits for alcohol consumption
- Anyone who doesn’t cyber-stalk ex-boy/girlfriends / friends / colleagues on Friends Reunited / Facebook / Linked In
- Anyone who does cyber-stalk ex-boy/girlfriends / friends / colleagues on Friends Reunited / Facebook / Linked In and is genuinely pleased to read about his / her success.
I could go on, but you can see the pattern.
Basically, Martha is talking about any person or group you use to highlight your own shortcomings, who you refer to as a marker of a level of human goodness that you feel escapes you. In short, it’s about the people you use to beat yourself up with.
So what does this mean for you ? Be honest, who do you secretly look to and wish you could copy (if only you weren’t so shallow). Who winds you up in a ‘I wish I could be more like them, but I’m not sure I actually like them’ kind of way ?:
- Stop doing it – the answer to the question at the top of this blog is ‘no’.
- Don’t use the mistaken belief that [Vegans] are prettier / cleverer / worthier than you to stop you from approaching the guy / woman you’ve been admiring from afar – even if you think they’d rather go out with a [Vegan].
(1) 20 Questions That could Change Your Life, Martha Beck, Oprah Magazine, February 2011