I thought about this metaphor during my lunch break. If you were dehydrated, would you rather have a glass of water or a glass of Kool-Aid?
I really like Kool-Aid, in particular grape. Yet, Kool-Aid isn’t water. It is a powder with “fruit flavoring, citric acid, calcium phosphate, salt, and Vitamin C”. Additional chemicals come with the sugar free or sugar sweetened versions. Just add water to get that Kool-Aid Man smile.
For years, water was the global standard of hydration. Thirsty? Drink water. Now we have powdered beverages- and don’t even get me started on Vitamin Water.
Commitment or Friends with Benefits
We need water to live, so why all the flash and hype of water with benefits? If I’m dehydrated, I need water. But offer me grape Kool-Aid and there is a huge chance I’ll drink that bad boy.
The line between what we need and what we want is becoming ever blurry. The premise is: what you need is water, so here is water plus a little extra to give it style and flavor. Because, you know, water by itself is just plain boring.
Plus, Kool-Aid turns your tongue different colors, how much fun is that! (Some places are now serving Fried Kool-Aid. That just seems spankin’ inappropriate.)
An Aquatic Romance
I think of this in the context of God. If God is the water, then Religion is the Kool-Aid. God, with the safety of added rules and judgmental flavorings, free of all the romance and poetry, additional form and fashion to feel good once a week and comply with social scripture. I’ve drank the Kool-Aid (pun intended) for several years and the appeal is wearing thin.
Right now, there is a heatwave happening where I live. Times are hard and you can cook an egg on the fear. Kool-Aid, even though it may taste good, won’t cut it anymore. I may want Kool-Aid, but I need something of substance. All I need is a glass of water.
How about you?
[photo by jc7tray]