Ham and Lox and a Dollop of Doubt

A beautiful platter stared up at me from the breakfast buffet. The caterer had prepared elegant little sandwiches. Half the sandwiches on the platter were ham and cheese on tiny biscuits and the other half were lox and cream cheese on tiny bagels.

Staring at that site of peaceful coexistence, a thought struck me. We all need to promote Doubt.

Let me explain. The luscious looking ham and cheese sandwiches are something religious Jews and Muslims would not eat. Ham is not Kosher or Halal.  But this is a sandwich often consumed by Christians (and plenty of other people). Now anyone who has not grown up with lox (a traditional Jewish food) might well look warily at this preparation of raw fish, surely not as elegant as sushi. Yet despite prohibitions and prejudices, these sandwiches looked just lovely sharing one big platter.

So naturally I thought: Why can’t we humans share the same platter peacefully….the platter we know as Earth?

And then I thought of the political debates, and the talk show guests, and the amount of useless but incendiary hot air that is spewed out regularly these days, and I thought: Can’t we all just be ham and cheese and bagels and lox sitting peacefully together?

Of course I would add in some great kebabs and tagine, and baklava, kunafeh, or halva for dessert. And more platters would be welcome on the table if other religions and cultures wanted to join in. Heck, everyone needs a bite of pad thai regularly. And we’d all be healthier if we ate vegan meals sometimes. But these days, I want to insist that we all eat some poblanos, tacos, and enchiladas. Ha! Fight back against prejudice with hot sauce!

So back to the thought I had when I was staring at the ham and cheese and bagels and lox: Doubt.

It seems to me that doubt is the key. Why is everyone so darned sure that they are right? Can’t they find just a dollop of doubt somewhere in their minds? Isn’t it possible that someone of an opposing view might have at least partially a half-way decent point?

If everyone had just a dollop of doubt as they voiced their opinions, guess what? Compromise might be possible!

And on a much more terrifying level than our childish politicians’ antics, anyone who starts wars and murders innocent people because “god” is on their side, might think twice if they allowed just the slightest bit of doubt to shadow their fanaticism. 

I don’t pray often enough, I am sure. But today I pray that some tiny sliver of doubt invades the minds of those who are absolutely certain of their cause.

And suddenly I am very hungry for both ham and cheese and bagel and lox. I’ll have them both.

©2015 Margery Leveen Sher

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