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Get yourself some

November 19, 2011

Recently a friend and I visited one of the local frozen yogurt shops for a treat.  You probably know the kind.  It’s a self-serve deal.  You walk in and they give you some little paper sample cups and you can taste the various flavors before you decide what you’re actually going to buy.  Once you’ve finished your Taste Fest, you use one of the small vats they provide to build yourself a yogurt concoction.  You take as much yogurt as you want in as many flavors as you want.  Then you go to the topping bar where you can pile all sorts of stuff on it.   Brownie chunks, fruit, nuts, gummi worms, Capn’ Crunch, cookie dough balls, marshmallows, chopped candy bars, various syrups…you name it, they probably have it.  You make your choices, piling on as much or as little as you like.  And then comes the good part.

You take your yogurt concoction to the counter where they weigh it, and you pay by the ounce.

Actually, eating the stuff is the best part of all.  But this isn’t about eating the stuff.

My friend and I were discussing why we like these places.  And I realized that I do indeed like them a lot, and for a very specific reason:  they enforce personal responsibility in a culture where we tend to avoid personal responsibility as much as possible.

Well, and then there’s the yogurt part, and what’s not to like about frozen yogurt?  But once again, this isn’t about eating the stuff.

I like that each person who takes one of those vats has a responsibility to fill it with an appropriate serving of yogurt.  If you don’t take enough, you have nobody to blame but yourself.  Nobody cheated you.  If you take too much, you have nobody to blame but yourself.  Nobody forced anything on you.  If you piled on too many toppings, that’s your own deal.  If you don’t like how much you have to pay, then you will have to have a discussion with yourself about keeping your appetite in line with your budget.

Our culture tends to operate with a victim mentality that spills over into small mundane areas of our lives.  I don’t really understand the whole Occupy Wallstreet thing, though I’m all for peaceful demonstrations  when you feel you aren’t being otherwise heard.  But as I look at how it has spread and into how many different areas, not just Wallstreet, I find myself wanting to grab the microphone of the universe and shout one simple thing to all who have ears to hear:



Seriously.  Get a cup and get yourself some yogurt.  Take what you want but keep in mind that you’re going to have to pay for what you take.  Do not criticize your neighbor’s yogurt or get your undies in twist because he can afford a more elaborate yogurt concoction than you. Do not steal other people’s yogurt or try to find ways to not pay for what you take.  Take responsibility if you waste what you take and don’t try to blame the cup maker or the yogurt freezer or the gum-snapping 16 year-old girl who weighed your choice.  Make yourself a concoction and occupy your choice.

And when all else fails, remember that many of life’s ills can be patched up with chocolate and peanut butter.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Joann permalink
    November 20, 2011 7:48 am

    What a great read and a wonderful analogy!!

  2. Richard Snyder permalink
    November 20, 2011 8:01 am

    Downhere, “The Problem,” immediately jumped into my head. Great post. I think I’ll get some chocolate to go with my coffee.

  3. Laural permalink
    November 20, 2011 11:09 pm

    Sean and I just got home, and both our vats together were just under 1lb. I think I got a little enthusiastic about the new Snowflake Mint flavor. Yum… ow., :P

    • November 20, 2011 11:15 pm

      I hope you got that with brownie chunks.

  4. November 21, 2011 11:20 am

    Well said, Lisa.

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