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THINKING ALLOWED


Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

The Olfactory Base of Wholesome

North Miami Beach, FL 06-08-2005
A.H. Schectman

Some things smell good and on the other hand some things just smell. When you think about it, your nose should tell you what is wholesome and what is offensive. What is offensive to me are the smells of drunks, tobacco users, the unwashed and those who move in clouds of excessive “perfume”.  There are others whose habits are noisome and unwelcome in “polite” company. The ears tell us when others play their music too loud and have cut outs on their car mufflers.  They feel free as the smokers on the doorsteps of places you want to enter to fill the air with clouds of ill-smelling smoke.

When you think about it your nose should tell you that wholesomeness is preferred over what is malodorous. Cases in point will be examined below.

A list of malodorous substances that co-exist with substances such as Holsum Bread (is that still around) is an example of my thinking.  The smell of bread baking cannot be mistaken for other than a great good celebrated in all homes throughout history.  Tobacco, on the other hand, is a killer. Along with snuff and other variations including water pipes and cigars (especially cigars) produce clouds of smoke that clogs lungs and sticks to clothing of non-smokers without their consent.  The nose knows these are bad.

You can smell the unclean.  That is basically a cultural thing.  Remember the way a generation of stinkers celebrated being unwashed who reveled in NOT smelling of deodorant, scented water and clean clothing?  Being unkempt was a revolt by the revolting – but I am showing my cultural upbringing here. I had to show the cleanliness of even the backs of my hands before I was allowed to sit down to eat.  People who ride horses or live with dogs smell like them.  This is not to say that loving horses and animals is bad.  People throughout history have kept cows and pigs in their homes to profit by the heat of living creatures on which they lived.  But haven’t we developed far enough along the path of evolution to hold our noses over noisome odors?

We can smell fear, envy and hate. Wholesomeness is absent in many people who live on emotions that can hurt and kill.  Just rethink the murderous bombers who blow themselves up along with their victims.  Perhaps it is the wholesomeness that is offensive to the morass in which lurks opposition to living in a culture of baking bread and going about one’s business. Having a different belief system and cultural values may be what too many object to.  We can smell dishonesty, self-interest and carelessness of the rights of others who claim for themselves the right to do as they please while they pollute our planet.  The nose knows. Wholesomeness is absent. There is an olfactory base to living like a human.

 


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