Readers’ Forum: 5/28/19

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Guilty pleasures

I’m sick and tired of apologizing for my “guilty pleasures.” It starts when we are young — someone in your third-grade class tells you to shut up or calls you a nerd if you start to speak too animatedly. People love to sit around and say, “kids are cruel,” but if kids are the cruel ones, then why do adults act exactly the same way? It’s more subtle with adults; they won’t call you names outright, but the message comes across in different ways — a judgmental eyebrow raise paired with a little scoff or a comment like, “Wow, I didn’t think you were into that sort of thing.”

I refuse to feel guilty about my simple indulgences. Yes, I like watching “The Bachelorette” and I want to guess your zodiac sign and I am currently reading a young-adult romance novel. I don’t think that these are shallow interests — they are just things that I like. What’s wrong with that? We can’t all sit around talking about politics and the state of the economy all the time. It doesn’t mean someone is unintelligent because they spend their disposable energy differently from you.

It hurts seeing the sadness in people’s eyes when they realize no one is listening to their stories. When people speak to you, listen. If someone wants to tell you about the 1964 World Series or the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the healing powers of crystals, be kind. Don’t stomp on people’s joy. You might even learn something when you let people enjoy things.

—Erin Johnston
Queen Creek, Arizona

Healthy on-campus meal options

Growing up, I always had the luxury of home-cooked meals. My mom is a terrific cook and her meals are always balanced and healthy. Coming to BYU and being here for a few months now, I’ve realized I have developed the characteristics of a picky eater. Students with meal plans, like me, are limited to restaurants available on campus. The restaurants offered usually serve fast food with very high calorie counts. We are given very limited options for healthy, balanced meals.

In the Bible, Daniel and many other young men were being trained in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 1:4 says, “Young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified (were chosen) to serve in the king’s palace.” These young man trained for three years, and after that, they would be worthy to enter the king’s service. The king assigned each man a daily amount of food and wine. Daniel, knowing the commandment given by God to fill our bodies with nutritious foods, asked the court that he be fed with “nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.” After ten days, the young men that followed Daniel looked healthier and better nourished than the other young men that ate the royal food. Daniel was blessed by God, and he was given “knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.”

BYU needs healthier options. Just like Daniel, if we obey God’s commandments we will be blessed in our knowledge. BYU tries to give their students options with a salad bar at the Cannon Center or fruit and vegetables at the Cougareat. These do help students have more choices, but the fruit is usually older or canned, decreasing their nutritious value. BYU needs healthier restaurants with real fresh fruits and vegetables so that students can perform to the best of their abilities in receiving an education.

—Emma Romney
Salt Lake City, Utah

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