Filtering through the spice cabinet.

I love the taste of cumin. I could eat cumin on just about anything. Apparently it's been in the monkey cupboard for around 5,000 years. Here's a simple list of all the benefits, if you're interested in feeding yourself a little cumin today.

Big benefits, little seed.

Somewhere I read the scent of cumin is also associated with love, peace and general good times, which is why they pipe it into the air ducts in the casinos.  What happens in Vegas smells a bit like cumin perhaps?

Not everyone loves cumin. Some would say it tastes like dirty socks, has been known to associate with spices from low circumstances and in general doesn't have the integrity of parsley or thyme. Certainly sage is much more familiar, but for my money, I'll take cumin any day. (To my knowledge there have been no folk ballads written about it, which could be part of cumin's problem.)

As I could be called a cumin lover, this makes me think about values. And how could anyone not love cumin?

Say for example your values are based on what's happened in the past. You're all about the perpetuation of traditions. The lament "it just isn't the same" is a frequent part of your vocabulary and everything was better before. If your family never ate cumin, grandpa never heard of cumin and great grandpa would be immediately suspicious, you seriously wonder why would anybody want to eat cumin?

Your world is all about trying to preserve stability and the sanctity of the way things have always been done. Today is a continuation of the past and tradition is the banner you're waving. If needed it makes a handy lance as well, should anyone suggest a change. Remember the past! And do not change the recipe.

If you're more in your head, you might insist on the continuous process of discovery and improvement. Cumin alone itself is fine, but could it be better when cooked up with carrots? Or paired with fennel and coriander? What does the current recipe lack? Spices are only one continuum of exploration and there are so many elements to add and subtract for a better experience. You're busy thinking about how many recipes there are for cumin and looking for patterns?

What if your values demand a context, a feeling quality, a madeline effect if you will? You place great value on nuances, sensitive to the subtle hints of something larger at work. Who have you shared cumin with, and what did it mean to you? Will harmony be preserved or disrupted if cumin is included? What's the deeper meaning of cumin in our lives? You once wrote a poem for the national cumin festival about how the spice changed your life.

Or might you first think what cumin can do for you?  Can you find an advantage by liking cumin or is it better to dislike it? Cumin itself isn't really the point, right?  Is there an upside opportunity here? Could you corner the cumin market?

You're always looking to win the game, so is cumin the best possible hand to hold? If there's no game to be played, how boring! Let's move on, make something happen, go do something! Why worry about a spice that isn't moving the game along?

Our values shape not only what's important to us, but what we see. This sheds light onto the myth of objectivity.

We don't accurately "see" anything because of all the filters of perception that are layered between us and the object we think we're viewing.

Do you ever think about your perspective? Ever wondered if how you see the world is just a matter of opinion? And what about the 6 billion or so other points of view?

I'm thinking that communication is a miracle. And finding agreement on anything remotely complex requires the ability to see not only my own filters in action, but to imagine the filters of everyone else operating at full tilt.

Could a little cumin help you see more clearly?

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