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March 20th, 2021
How sensitive are you? Not in the sense of being offended - that topic is tremendously uninteresting. But how sensitive are you to changes in your situation, your environment, and your body?
While there’s many aspects of life that turn out just fine with a ballpark guess, some things benefit enormously from even a slight improvement in precision. Nutrition, for example, is a good one. People generally eat such a wide variety of things, even in a single setting, that a person can go years without realizing the bad effects of a single staple food. The signal is lost in the noise created by the consumption of so many different foods at once. The cause, in such a case is impossible to pin down because there are so many variables or candidates in the mix.
The process of figuring out that one bad food is best found by simplifying the diet to absolute bare essentials. This sort of experiment is highly disagreeable to many people who are so accustomed to satisfying every little craving. But, when the situation is simplest, it’s easiest to see what the impact of any one given added ingredient creates.
Complexity creates obfuscation. Simplicity allows for clarity because it becomes possible to measure effects and establish causes effectively.
Scraping life and situations of unnecessary complexity is like tapping the gauge, making the needle and the reading sensitive once again to what’s going on.
We would imaginably all benefit tremendously from looking at the different areas of our life where we aren’t currently getting a good reading and give that gauge a good tap, to simplify what’s going on, if only for a short time in order to figure out what’s really going on. Otherwise, any change we seek to make is a bit of a shot in the dark. Eliminating one food at a time would take far longer than eliminating everything and slowly adding back. While it seems as though it would take the same amount of time, the simpler version also eliminates any cumulative effects that are created by a cocktail of variables.
The paradox of sensitivity is that you don’t realize how insensitive you are to certain variables, like someone who is surprised at how good they feel after a first month of clean eating after decades of lethargic living - it’s simply not possible to see what you’re missing out on until it’s experienced. It is, however, possible to imagine that we are missing out on something, and it’s curiosity that can fill in the real lived sense. Curiosity fills in for sensitivity because it can help us imagine the unexperienced.